Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has repeated that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is the right president Nigeria needs now. Atiku is challenging incumbent President Buhari for the nation’s top job.
Obasanjo spoke on Wednesday 30 January as the special guest of honour at the Island Club 2019 Quarterly Business Lecture held in Lagos.
Digging at president Buhari’s touted integrity, Obasanjo suggested that unlike President Buhari, Atiku was honest enough not to “cover up with a sanctimonious veneer of bogus integrity, incorruptibility, uprightness, goodness and false figures and statistics, all of which are contrived to deceive, to cheat, to plunder and to destroy”.
“Atiku has done one thing, which is necessary for a leader to be believed or followed. He made mistakes and had accepted his mistakes and asked for forgiveness. I forgave and I am sure Nigerians will do their part by voting for him. A leader should be susceptible to mistakes.
Not “when you have corruption under your nose, you are busy preaching fight against corruption! Atiku had not claimed to be a saint and I did not describe him as such. I will never so describe any human being alive, let alone calling him a messiah”.
As election approach Obasanjo is strongly reiterating his support for Alhaji Abubakar saying the former vice president would not be caged by any cabal and that he will be a president to all Nigerians and not a president to only those who voted for him.
“He will be a team leader, but will not allow the seizure of his mandate by a cabal. A system to prevent impunity and ‘I can do what I like’ attitude and action must be put in place for all concerned”, he opined.
During the event, the PDP candidate himself Atiku Abubakar, who reviewed the nation’s economy in the last four years, stated that the opportunity to change the course of history and rebuild Nigeria begins with the coming presidential election.
Atiku listed 10 key areas he would pay special attention, if elected, which would define the policy direction of his government. According to him, there has been “a significant drop in investor confidence on the Nigerian economy,” in the last four years due to the actions or inactions of the APC-led Federal Government.
He regretted the decline in capital importation in the country since 2015, resulting in Ghana, a country with just 14 percent of Nigeria’s population, attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) than Nigeria. “In order to reverse the trend, our economic policies will be more coherent, consistent and, therefore, more predictable by the business community. Nothing could be more threatening to investment flows than an environment that is full of policy flip-flops,” Atiku noted.
He promised to support the private sector by undertaking reforms to unleash its growth potential, noting that #TheAtikuPlan recognizes the private sector as the engine of growth of the economy. “A strong, productive and pro-growth private sector is needed to create wealth, generate employment opportunities and help fight poverty. Atiku said he would liberalise the economic space and privatise all ailing enterprises.