Port Harcourt — Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has declared his intention to contest the 2019 presidential election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Atiku made the declaration when he visited River State Governor, Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday to consult with the state PDP leaders.
The former vice president who was one of the founding members of the PDP, which he dumped in 2006 for the Action Congress, said that he is offering himself to set the country on the path of growth after the serial failure of the APC.
He observed that since 2015, the percentage of budget allocation for education has been falling year by year. This trend he pointed out could also be noticed in the health sector. According to him: " We have not seen 100 kilometers of road that has been constructed by the Federal Government since 2015."
Atiku who was accompanied by former Enugu State Governor, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo and former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Attorney General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa and Senator Abdul Ningi, accused the APC-led Federal Government of destroying the foundation of unity and cohesion of the country. To end the nation's regression, he urged Rivers PDP stakeholders to support his ambition to emerge as the party's presidential candidate.
He said: "I have never seen Nigeria so divided along religious, ethnic and regional lines. This division is as a result of the mismanagement by the APC."
Governor Wike urged Nigerians to take up the solemn responsibility of voting out the All Progressives Congress APC Federal Government in 2019.
He urged all PDP members irrespective of their status to ensure that the march to the Presidential Villa is not truncated by disunity.
He stated that prior to Atiku's visit, he had received former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido. To this end, he said other aspirants would be offered the platform to consult with Rivers PDP members.
According to him, the former vice president has the requisite qualification to fly the PDP flag, but he should extend his consultations.
"God will make sure that the right candidate emerges. When the right candidate emerges, we will team up and remove this bad government. There is no benefit that Rivers State has gotten from this APC Federal Government. All the APC is doing is plotting to rig the 2019 elections," said Wike.
He implored all PDP presidential aspirants to contest within acceptable limits as the race is not a do-or-die affair, but a movement to oust a failed APC Federal Government.
"Every presidential aspirant must see himself as a member of the larger PDP family. We must do everything to ensure that PDP returns to the presidential villa in 2019. Only one aspirant will become a candidate. We will do everything to ensure that the party comes out with a candidate that has a track record to upstage the APC."