The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Friday, at a meeting with leadership of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) promised to form an all-inclusive government.
He assured the alliance parties that he will toe the path and tradition of the PDP to run a government of national unity if he was elected president on February 16, 2019.
The presidential candidate and his campaign team led by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, met with the coalition in Abuja on Friday following his recent adoption by the collation as its sole candidate for the 2019 election.
He assured that as long a government of national unity is in place, there will be no cabal.
He thanked them for adopting him but reminded the collation that it must not rest on its oars until the mission to oust President Muhammadu Buhari from office is accomplished.
Atiku said: “I want to thank the CUPP for this historic endorsement. It is historic because I believe this is the first time it is being done in this form.
“You have not taken a wrong decision because the PDP since we formed it in 1998, is a party that believes in national government, the participation of many Nigerians irrespective of their political affiliation.
“We believe, as a political party, in national unity and there must be stability before you can do anything, implement your economic programme, before you can 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 diverse as Nigeria to be united and stable before we start talking about which ethnic group we come from or which religion we practice.
“So, government of national unity should be essential and we practiced it even when there was no conference even when we won elections on our own, we brought in opposition parties.
“I want to commit myself to the continuation of the doctrine a government of national unity.
“We have a lot of work to do together. We should not go back and rest and say we have endorsed. We have to deliberately take certain actions to make sure that we achieve our objectives.
“I want to assure you that as long as we are having a government of national unity, there will not be a cabal.”
Atiku urged the CUPP to publicise its decision to endorse him, saying: “We need a public presentation of this decision so that Nigerians will be further enlightened, so that every nook and cranny of this country can be informed”.
The Chairman of CUPP, former Governor of Osun State, Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, also disclosed that Atiku Abubakar was endorsed by all parties that are members of the coalition because of is national acceptability.
He also added that other factor considered include “access to financial resources, competitiveness of the candidate party, capacity to monitor the election in all the 120, 000 polling units in the country and the competence, capacity, capability and credibility of the candidate.
“After painstaking assessment of what we have across all the CUPP parties, after processing the candidates’ capability using these criteria, the steering committee hereby submit that former vice president and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, is the best and his party is the most reliable of all options before us.
“We therefore choose him as the CUPP candidate for the 2019 Presidential election”.
In his remark, Saraki, who is the Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council (PPCC), observed that poverty and insecurity were ravaging the country but President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the capacity to tackle them.
He said the ongoing PDP zonal rallies has been to three cities in the country and all they found is poverty and insecurity.
Saraki stated: “We have been to just three zones and there is a common message. And that message is one of insecurity and hunger.
“Everywhere we have been to in this country, poverty is the number one issue in this country. So, the future of this country depends on how do we bring back prosperity to this country?
“Unfortunately, our President cannot do that. Government alone cannot bring prosperity to this country because the revenue of government at the moment, close to 80 percent of it, is going towards personnel and servicing loans.
“The remaining percentage cannot bring development.
“To bring development in this country today, you need an atmosphere that encourages people to invest”.
Present at the meeting were Chairman of the CUPP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former PDP presidential aspirant, Tanimu Turaki; Senator Dino Melaye, Abubakar Baraje, Ben Obi, Tom Ikimi, Gershom Benson, and Abduljelil Tafawa Balewa.
Tunde Opalana, Abuja