Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Associates of the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua under the platform of the Yar’Adua/Atiku Political Family and Friends have regrouped in Ekiti State ahead of 2019 presidential election with the sole objective to rally support for former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar in the impending political battle.
Atiku, who emerged the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will confront the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, who will be flying the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The group expressed confidence that Atiku will get Nigeria out of the current economic downturn if elected the president in 2019.
It added that restructuring, especially fiscal federalism that Atiku is championing, will not hurt any part of the country, but will allow for speedy economic development of the country as a whole.
The political body spoke through its leader, Hon. Bode Ajewole, during its meeting at the weekend in Iroko-Ekiti, Ijero Local Government Area.
Ajewole, a former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, said: “Atiku is not only a rugged politician, he is also a successful businessman and knows how to run businesses and institutions and getting positive results. He is also the type who surrounds himself with brilliant minds and who listens to and takes wise counsel.
“He knows the pains Nigerians are currently experiencing and he is not going to be president by accident. He is very much prepared for the task ahead. His call for restructuring is not a matter of lip service. He knows it is a potent measure needed to really actualise the potential of our dear country and for it to take its pride of place in the comity of nations,” he said.
Ajewole said those accusing Atiku of corruption were only chasing shadows, challenging them to bring any evidence they have to the public domain.
“Atiku’s traducers are only crying wolves where there is none. He has been investigated a number of times and was never indicted. Only a few days ago, he was honoured by the American Government. This is somebody they are accusing of being banned by the same government,” he noted.
He described the chance of Atiku winning the presidential election as very bright, adding that the Atiku project was beyond the PDP that is fielding him as its candidate.
“In today’s meeting and in this project are members of the All Progressives Congress, the Labour Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Action Democratic Congress and many political parties and stalwarts too numerous to mention,” he added.
Lending his opposition voice to APC’s continuity agenda, a former Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Dr Sikiru Tae Lawal, said the fact that only a few people were invited but that the venue was jam packed with participants showed that Atiku’s acceptance was wide.
“This is an idea whose time has come. God is involved. This is a divine project. We are all one and equal in this project. The issue is beyond being a PDP member. We are ready for the task ahead,” he stated.
Lawal charged participants to go home and make as many people as possible supporters of Atiku.
He announced that he would donate his office in Ado-Ekiti for the use of the group.