Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa have said that there must be restructuring for Nigeria to make progress.
Both Alhaji Abubakar and Governor Okowa spoke in Asaba, when the former Vice President visited the state on Tuesday June 26, 2018, to consult the people on his aspiration for the Presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 general elections.
While Alhaji Abubakar disclosed that he had been in the fore-front for the restructuring of the country since 2004, saying it would bring out the best among Nigerians, Governor Okowa stated, “I strongly believe that the way out of the challenges of the country is to have stronger states, stronger federating units.”
Senator Okowa commended Alhaji Abubakar for engaging in consultation visit, assuring that delegates to the Presidential Primaries of the PDP will make their decisions based on acceptability, reach, experience and level of intelligence of the individual aspirants.
He urged the aspirant not to relent in moving to different states of the country, stating that more efforts should be made for the PDP to be in control of more states of the country to enable it clinch the Presidential position in 2019.
Alhaji Abubakar had said that his aspiration to be Nigeria’s President was borne out of his passion to ensure that the country made progress, disclosing, “The security architecture of the country must be reviewed and decentralized.”
He decried a situation where security agencies do not take orders from the state governors, asserting, “As an individual, I don’t think this is true federalism, we must restructure the security architecture.”
The former Vice President also listed ways to tackle unemployment in the country observing, “To create jobs, you must liberalize the economy, support the private sector, create incentives to make the private sector boom and open up the economy to foreign direct investment.”
“I will have a very small federal government with powers and resources devolved to the states to manage the affairs while they pay tax to the federal government; with this, each zone can survive on its own without leaning on oil money,” he emphasized.
Earlier at a courtesy call on Governor Okowa, Alhaji Abubakar had said he was in the state to consult the people, to seek the support of the people to enable him emerge as the Presidential flag bearer of the PDP.
While noting that Delta State was home to the PDP, Alhaji Abubakar commended the developmental strides of the Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Okowa in the development of the state.
“Delta State has been a PDP state, each successive government continues from where the previous one stopped in terms of infrastructure development, you (Governor Okowa) have continued to develop infrastructure, especially roads, your efforts in executing your programmes and policies, especially in the creeks are highly commendable as they will reduce agitations, it requires wise leadership for communities to live in peace and have sense of belongings and I must commend you for doing this in the state,” he stated.
Others who spoke at the event include, former Governor of Ogun State, Otumba Gbenga Daniel (who is the DG of Atiku Abubakar campaign organization), his Imo State counterpart, Chief Achike Udenwa, former Minister of the Ministry of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, among others.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the National Atikulate Movement 4 Emancipation (NAME), Mr Tola Ajemitsogbe, has said the visit of the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was the beginning of the realization of a mandate to put Nigeria on the path of progress.
He noted that massive crowd that trooped to the Asaba International Airport to welcome the former present was an indication of his acceptance as man of excellent capacity and drive to change the fortunes of the country for greatness.
On his part, the National Director of Research and Strategy of NAME, Dr Sunny Ekakitie, said that only a restructured Nigeria would return Nigeria to the platform development it once missed after the coming of the military in 1966, adding that the aspiration of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar would bring about true fiscal federalism that would guarantee the country’s greatness.