Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday declared that there will be no cabal in his administration if he emerges president after the 2019 election.
Atiku stated this at a meeting in Abuja with leaders of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) where he also pledged to form a government of national unity.
CUPP had on Wednesday, picked the former vice president as their consensus presidential candidate.
Atiku, who addressed the coalition of opposition leaders, dismissed fears of a cabal in his government. He stated that he will run a broad-based government which will have no room for a cabal to operate in the corridors of power.
“I want to commit myself to the continuation of the doctrine a government of national unity,” he said.
“We believe as a political party in a government of national unity and there must be stability before you can do anything- implement your economic programme, implement your healthcare programme.
“Right from the beginning, I have been a member of the PDP and I know we have always believed in a government of national unity. It takes a long time for a country as diversed as Nigeria to be united and stable even before we talk about which ethnic group we come from or which religion we practice.
“I want to assure you that as long as we are having a government of national unity, there would be no cabal.”
He however charged the coalition to make a public presentation of its decision to work together “so that Nigerians will be further enlightened, and every nook and cranny of this country is informed.”
Atiku while commenting on youth involvement in politics said that democracy is not a process that pitches the old against the young.
“Democracy is not a process where one group replaces the other but it is a process where all groups participate. It is not a process where one group, young or old, rich or poor, exclude the other, but a process where everybody participates,” he noted.
On his part, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, called on the coalition to work hard to ensure victory for Atiku, whom he described as man “who understands the issues.”
He also said since President Buhari’s election in 2015, he has not demonstrated the capacity to find a way to address hunger and poverty in the land.
“The message everywhere we go is that this country must move forward and we have agreed that the existing president must give way because he is not leading us in the right direction.
“We have met with Nigerians all over the country, the old, the not-too-old and the message is that the president cannot lead us in the right way.
“We must be part of the process to usher in a new direction. The most important thing is that we want a change, a new direction. We want a man that understands the issues.
“We have been to three zones and there is a common message and that message is one of insecurity and hunger. Everywhere in this country, hunger and poverty are the issues. So the challenge before us is how to bring back prosperity to this country.
“Government alone cannot bring prosperity to this country because close to 80 per cent of the revenue of government goes into personnel and servicing of debts. The remaining percentage cannot bring about development.
“To bring development to this country today, you need an environment that encourages people to bring in investment. Nigerians are even afraid to bring their monies out and so they need somebody that they have confidence will bring about the right environment for their business.
“At the moment, the verdict is that this government and this president do not give that confidence and without that investment, we are going nowhere,” he said.
On his part, chairman of the steering committee of CUPP, former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said all the parties that signed the MoU were represented during the endorsement of Atiku as the candidate.
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