Atiku Abubakar

• Saraki Picks Presidential Nomination Form
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, wept openly over what he called increasing frustration caused by youth unemployment poverty and insecurity.

He told a group of young men and women who presented Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Nomination and Expression of Interest forms for him in Abuja, that he would address Nigeria’s challenges by recruiting very experienced and talented youths into government.

Atiku said: “It is almost three decades of my political career this year, but today has also turned out to be one of the most emotional days in those three decades of my political career.

“The event today is significant and historic, because this is the only time in my political career that young men and women in this country have come together without my knowledge or even consent contribute their own hard earned money to buy me a Nomination and Expression of Interest ‎Form.”

On why he was overtaken by emotions, the former vice president said: “But you could have seen one of the people who spoke, the lady who spoke virtually succeeded in getting me to weep. This is because she aptly described the challenges every Nigerian is facing in this country today and she believed honestly and sincerely from the bottom of her heart that I could be an instrument of addressing those challenges.”

Providing a clue on how Nigeria’s problems could be remedied, Atiku said: “Believe me, addressing those challenges‎ are possible, because we have brought young men and women, Nigerians who have got the talents, the education and the experience, who have got all what it takes to honestly turn this country around.”

Atiku, however, noted that putting together such talented ‎young Nigerians requires leadership, “and it is that leadership we have not been fortunate enough to have on a consistent basis and it is only with that that this country can take its rightful position in Africa and indeed the world.”

He admitted that the presentation of the form to him to run for the country’s number one office was a huge challenge, saying: “For such a woman to believe that I have got those leadership qualities, and including those of you who have brought out your monies to buy this form, is one of the most serious challenges I have ever faced in my political career.”

He, however, challenged youths to work very hard to ensure that he gets the PDP ticket, adding: “I believe as you purchased the form, so you will also run round to make sure that I ‎am duly nominated from different parts of this country, so that when I go to submit the forms, I will again enjoy your company and support.

“And on that day, let us overwhelm the PDP secretariat, let us bring Abuja to a stand still. I bet you by the time we overwhelm the secretariat and bring Abuja to a stand still, the PDP would have no alternative than to give us the ticket.”

Also yesterday, Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki collected PDP Nomination Form, as well as Expression of Interest Form from the party’s national secretariat to boost his aspiration, which he officially declared on Thursday.

Director General of the Saraki Presidential Campaign Organisation and a former House of Representatives leader, Mohammed Wakil, obtained the forms on behalf of Saraki.

Announcing his presidential ambition on Thursday, Saraki charged Nigerians to immediately make a distinction between competence and incompetent leadership, saying:

“The choice we face in the forthcoming election is either to keep things as they are or make a radical departure from the old ways, to find a better way of doing things or keep repeating the mistakes of the past, to fix the problems or keep compounding them.

“It is with all these in mind and taking account of the challenges that I have outlined, that I have decided to answer the call of teeming youth, who have asked me to run for President.”

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