By Ikeugonna Eleke
Former Vice President and presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said that Nigeria has never been more divided than it is today under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Atiku who was in Anambra to seek the support of delegates of the party, said the country was divided because it made the mistake of electing the wrong president.
The former Vice President who was given a rousing welcome in Awka by members of the party and his supporters, said, ‘Our country is at a a cross roads today. I have never seen this country so divided than it is today.
‘We are more divided as a country today simply because we mistakenly elected a president who has succeeded in dividing us the more. I have seen the pre civil war days, the civil war days and the post civil war days, but I have never seen Nigeria as divided as we are today.
‘This is because we elected a government that is completely insensitive to our diversity, and completely insensitive to our welfare. We elected a government that crashed Nigeria into a recession from an economy that was growing at a 6% GDP and up to now we are trying to recover from the recession.
‘Today we have the highest unemployment rate in our history. Over 12 million young men and women. Today our health sector is performing very very minimally. Nigeria is at the bottom as far as health care is concerned. Almost every African country is ahead of Nigeria.
‘In almost every social economic indicator, we are doing worse today. This is a government we must vote out next year. For the welfare of our children and grandchildren, this is a government we must not allow to return to power next year. I beg of you all, it is not about me, but about the future of our children, we must unite to make sure we don’t vote for APC anymore.’
Speaking on restructuring, Atiku said he had been championing restructuring for years and noted that one thing the country must do was to give every part the opportunity to govern itself and also develop at its pace. ‘We must not continue to have a country where every state rushes to Abuja to pick up money to develop their states. We will begin by restructuring and that will help states to achieve whatever they want to achieve without hindrance,’ Atiku said.
He said he was pained that people in the Southeastern part of Nigeria had to fly to Abuja or Lagos before travelling outside the country, whereas an international airport was supposed to be sited in the zone.
‘I promise you that as your president we will build an international airport in the East, not the type they (APC) are talking about, but one that is truly international, that would have flights to parts of the world, so that you don’t have to travel to Abuja or Lagos before travelling out of this country.
‘I want to beg you to give me that opportunity. To give me the opportunity is to let me have the ticket. I urge you to join hands with me so we can develop our regions again and reclaim our country again,’ he said. Earlier, the state chairman of the party, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu had promised the aspirant support from the state, while urging him not to forget his promises when he became president.