Atiku Abubakar who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that Igbos will not be deceived by the promise of 2023 presidency by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Daily Independent reports that Atiku speaking through Segun Sowunmi, the spokesman of his campaign, said President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC would not honour their pledge to zone their 2023 presidency to the southeast if they support them in 2019.
He claimed this was evident in the promises the party made in 2019 but failed to fulfil. He said instead of making promises to Igbos, he has picked Peter Obi, one of their sons and former governor of Anambra State, as his running mate.
Atiku said: “ A man that cannot be trusted on simple things, is it that man that will be relied upon to fulfil a promise he made now in 2023?
“In one breath, the presidency is deceiving them that it will go there in 2023 if they support Buhari now; in another breath, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, is telling them that it will
go to the South-West in 2023. Nigerians are wiser than that.
“The Igbos are more intelligent than they think. What the people of the South-East needs is equal access to the play.
“Atiku has given them that equal access by giving them the vice president slot in the person of Peter Obi.
Definitely, if he does well, there is every opportunity for anybody from the South-East to be president, and he will be supported. ”
Atiku said he was focused on restructuring the country so each zone would be self sufficient. He said it was important to restructure the country so that people will not be killing themselves because of the presidency, but will rather go and deliver value where people need it most which is the local government and the state.
According to him, he will grant autonomy to local governments if he becomes president in 2019. He said they will get their funding directly and they will be able to do more for themselves.
“ States will be encouraged to generate more monies for themselves and they will be given more powers to do a whole lot more, especially in growing the economy and their IGR.
“We have gone past the rhetoric of we are going to give presidency to a region in 2023 or not. The same Buhari who said he is going to do one term, why can’t he say he is not seeking re-election but will give the ticket to an Igbo man if he is that sincere?
“Somebody who reneges on his statement that he will only do one term, is that the one who will now promise the Igbos presidency and they will believe him? The Igbos know their friends and the friends of the Igbos know the Igbos,” he added.