Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice-President of Nigeria has revealed why the Northern part of the country would not vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 general election.
Vanguard reports that the presidential aspirant under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who spoke at the weekend in Lagos, an interactive session with selected youths stated that PDP had done nothing to attract any vote from the region.
The former vice president also used the medium to reveal that he would support whoever emerged presidential candidate of APC if he did not get the ticket to run. He, however, expressed doubts on the capability of the Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria, INEC, to conduct a free and fair election in 2015.
“Asking me to not contest is asking me to give up on Nigeria. The North will not vote for the PDP because the party has failed everybody. This period presents an opportunity for change”he said.
Atiku further hinted that before now, the PDP was big and the absence of a viable opposition then allowed the party to become monstrous, and noted that with the emergence of the APC, there is now choice. He expressed optimism that there is no way Nigerians can vote for the PDP in 2015, alleging that the party has failed everybody.
The Presidential aspirant, who claimed all Nigerians yearn for change, said the opportunity was not there to attain such change because there was only one big monster party- PDP.
“A number of reasons have been adduced as responsible for insurgency. Some said the region was the most backward region in the country, with widespread poverty and illiteracy. But these are not reasons why people should take arms and start killing innocent Nigerians. There is poverty everywhere in this country” he said.
Atiku, who acknowledged that there is unemployment everywhere in the country, recalled that a similar situation arose in Yobe State when he was still in office, but pointed out that it did not take more than a month to crush the uprising.
“I think the mistake we made after crushing the insurgency, was not going back to the people to know why they took up arms against the country. We failed to listen to them and provide solution to whichever grievance they had. Today, there is a recurrence. There is failure of leadership in the war against terrorism in terms of capacity” he said.
The former leader further stated that the Nigerian armed forces should be well equipped and financed to combat insurgency. He said there was also a problem of intelligence gathering among the neighbouring countries.
”The President visited Chad and Cameroon recently, what I expected was a meeting with the service chiefs of the countries and their military commanders. I think we have a number of factors that have contributed to the growth of insurgency. That is why we believe that there must be a change” Atiku said.
Meanwhile, the former vice president on September 20, 2014, took a swipe at President Goodluck Jonathan, saying; “he is more experienced in the field of running the country.”