With the commencement of the 2023 presidential election campaign, the presidential flagbearer for the People Political Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, kicked off at the Nest of Champions Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom. The event saw the array of promises made by former vice president Atiku to Nigerians present at the Akwa Ibom rally.
Despite the trove of supporters at the event, some of the party’s notable political figures were in absentia. Missing from the rally were the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; and Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. The absence of these people does beg the question; how united is the political party that promised to rescue and unite Nigeria?
Nonetheless, at the rally were the Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, Adamawa Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, and the former lawmaker representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.
Despite the internal conflict over the stepdown of the current PDP’s national chairmen, Iyorchia Ayu, Atiku made his intentions known at the rally. He informed Nigerians in attendance that a vote for the party is a vote in the right place.
According to him, this means Nigerians are ready to end issues such as insecurity, poverty and underdevelopment affecting the country. With this in mind, he made some promises. Here are some promises Atiku made during the Akwa Ibom rally.
Revitalise the economy
Changing the Nigerian economy’s narrative was one of Atiku’s promises during the Akwa Ibom rally. This is due to the economic recession that resulted in inflation, thus weakening the value of the naira.
With the appalling state of the country, Atiku canvassed people’s votes to rescue the country’s economy and other sectors affected by the current administration led by the All Progressive Congress (APC).
He said: “When PDP came to power in 1999, we met Nigeria in a state of poverty, insecurity, hunger, and lack of education. We lifted Nigeria from the bottom to the top. We became the biggest economy in Africa and had peace and progress. But when Nigerians said they wanted to change, they voted for change in 2015.
We have seen poverty, insecurity, lack of jobs and disunity. Our children are no longer going to school. Is that what we want to continue in? So, today, we have inaugurated the flag off of our campaign to rescue Nigeria. To rescue Nigeria from hunger, to rescue Nigeria from poverty, and to bring back the unity we require in this country.”
The Nigerian educational system is affected by a myriad of factors. These include but are not limited to poor funding and educational infrastructures such as classrooms and teaching aids. Also, the system is now useless with social vices that have reduced the standard of education in the country.
Considering the decay in the system, Atiku promises to restore Nigeria’s education. For instance, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike for the past eight months. Despite making the requests known to the government, no concession was met. This resulted in the closure of universities, which prevents students from being on par with counterparts worldwide.
To this, he said that the Academic Staff Union of Institutions’ (ASUU), the state of the country’s universities, and the welfare of University teachers would all be aggressively addressed.
Promise to end of hunger, insecurity and unemployment
The lack of equilibrium between the cost of living and the income earned by an average Nigerian has resulted in an increase in hunger and poverty. This has further translated to illegal means of surviving, making the country unsafe for all.
This is worsened by the lack of employment that has seen the mass exit of talent out of Nigeria. Those with entrepreneurs’ minds are also discouraged as the country is unfavourable towards new businesses. Not far from the lot is insecurity that has besieged the country in the form of bandits, herdsmen and the increase in thugs.
With the issues, Udom Emmanuel, the Chairman of the campaign council and governor of Àkwa Ibom State accused the All Progressive Congress of being the architect of all the economic issues in Nigeria.
Hence, he said, “The campaigns to restore Nigeria, the parts of our unity, even the parts of our unity that has been fractured, restore faith and hope in our common dreams and aspirations begins today.
Poverty today has got to misery indices. When PDP handed over power, the exchange rate was N186 to a dollar. Today, the exchange rate is almost N800 to a dollar. When PDP handed over power, Nigeria had the largest economy in Africa. Today, all those indices have been battered.
Today, we want to flag off the hope for Nigeria; we want to flag off the rescue mission to Nigeria; we want to flag off the restoration mood for Nigeria. We want to tell Nigerians the ship is beginning to sail today; we want to tell Nigerians the train is moving today.”
Nigeria’s Afrobeat singer Oladapo Oyebanji with the stage name D’Banj has been arrested an…