By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA— Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, inaugurated a 60-member Presidential Nomination Council, ahead of the national convention of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, slated for October 6, 2018
The council would be chaired by ace publisher, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, while Dr. Auwalu Anwar is the secretary.
Inaugurating the council, Atiku lamented the sorry state of affairs in the country under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that its role would be to advise him on every aspect of the nomination process, leading to the party’s primaries.
According to him, the decision to seek the mandate of the PDP to contest the highest office in the land is informed by the failure of President Buhari’s government to deliver on promises made prior to the 2015 elections.
He said: “The change that Nigerians were promised during the last presidential election has not been delivered and our people are rightly disappointed and frustrated. Nigerians are once more increasingly being sidelined and neglected in the scheme of things.
“Their welfare is being ignored. We are once more sliding towards dictatorship as government chooses which court order to obey, which to ignore and who his bind by or above the law.
“Nigerians are yearning for jobs, for opportunity, unity and for security. We must work with them to achieve this. We must also ensure truth in politics, justice and fairness in governance and a genuine federal system that will help us address local priorities and run a more effective and efficient government.”
If elected, Atiku promised to use his position as President of Nigeria “to restore true democracy and get Nigeria working again.”
He charged member of the council to work hard to ensure the transparency of the primary election, adding that upon his victory, the council would be expanded to a campaign organization for the 2019 elections.
“We must all work hard to ensure that our primary is transparent. If as I expect we win the primary, this council will be expand into a standard campaign council in order to mobilize our people, to win their support and ensure that they vote and to protect those votes,” he added
On his part, Iwuanyanwu described Atiku as the kind of leader Nigerians need at the moment saying if the council fails, Nigeria would find it difficult to recover.
“I have not seen any aspirants that has been able to assemble a team like this. If this team fails, Nigeria is doomed,” he said even as he lamented the squalid conditions Nigerians are living in.
“I have been in politics for almost 50 years now but I have never seen our people so miserable as they are today.
Members of the council included prominent members of the PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, including Professor A.B.C Nwosu, Senator Stella Omu, Vincent Ogbulafor and Chief Tom Ikimi. Others are former Imo state governor, Achike Udenwa, his Niger and Katsina state counterparts, Ibrahim Shema and Idris Wada respectively; Colonel Bala Mande (retd), Senator Ben Murray Bruce, Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo, Chief Raymond Dokpesi amongst others.