Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who is aspiring for the presidential ticket of the opposition All Progressives Congress, has warned that a mandate to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, in 2015 will be a vote for a single-party dictatorship.
Atiku, who spoke separately to APC leaders from Bauchi State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja at an interactive session on Thursday said the “arrogance” of the ruling PDP has reached a point where the country can no longer bear it.
He said, “Here is a warning to all Nigerians. A ruling party that barred its members from running against the President in the primaries this year will, if care is not taken bar the entire citizens of the country from challenging him four years down the road.”
Describing himself as the only candidate with a plan to reduce the enormous powers of the federation through a systematic devolution of power to the states, Atiku warned, “Four more years of mandate will spell the death knell of democracy in the country. One-party dictatorship is bad and we must change from that.”
Atiku maintained that the powers of the federal government needed to be reduced if effective governance is to return to Nigeria, arguing that that it will go ahead to reduce the cut-throat competition for power at the center.
The former Vice President said opportunity was now in the air, given the failure of the ruling PDP, which is aided by the healthy development of the coming together of the entire opposition elements in the country.
“For the first time under this democracy, Nigerians have the chance and opportunity to ensure that a change is effected,” Atiku enthused.
Responding to the litany of cries over insecurity and the lack of development in the North-East geopolitical zone, Atiku agreed that the region was the country’s least in terms of development, and that on this, even the United Nations agencies are in agreement.
Speaking to the FCT delegates, Atiku said the country was currently faced with “bad resources management, insecurity, ethnic and religious disharmony and most importantly, we have poverty imposed on us. We have no reason to be poor because we have endowments in human and material resources. “Sadly,” he noted, “we have failed to utilize them due to poor leadership”.
The FCT delegation promised him 90 per cent of their delegates while their Bauchi counterparts pledged 100 per cent support.