By Lateef Ibrahim and Musa Adamu, Abuja
As tension mounts over who picks the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party. PDP, for the presidential election in 2019, prospective aspirants have been positioning themselves and reaching out to party stakeholders.
A chieftain of the PDP, and frontline businessman, Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu has declared his support for the presidential aspiration of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Chief Iwuanyanwu in company of other leaders of the PDP in Imo State received Atiku in Owerri during his visit to the state in continuation of his nationwide consultations with PDP stakeholders across the country.
According to Iwuanyanwu, “Atiku’s political journey has come a long way and he is particularly cut out for the demands of the time at this juncture in Nigeria’s political history.
“I will only retire finally after Atiku is installed. Atiku is an intelligent leader and he is the only one who can be fair to the Ibos”, he said.
Speaking in the same vein, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and gubernatorial aspirant in Imo State, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha says that Atiku will bethe best president Nigeria will have in 2019.
Atiku, in company of a delegation led by the Director General of his presidential campaign organization and former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, visited Owerri for a meeting with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Imo State in continuation of his nationwide consultations.
While welcoming Atiku into the state, the former deputy Speaker noted that “Atiku is well prepared to be president of Nigeria and he remains the best president Nigeria will have in 2019.”
After a close door private meeting with Chief Iwuanyanwu, Atiku proceeded to the PDP secretariat in Owerri where he met with the State Executive Council led by the state’s party chairman, Barrister Charles Ezekwem.
In his remarks, Atiku commended the warm welcome he and his entourage received from supporters in Imo State.
He said that his aspiration to become president in 2019 is borne out of his belief that Nigeria deserves a more competent leadership.
His words, “Today our country is at a critical condition. The economy is not working as expected and millions of jobs have been lost. There is so much division everywhere and we need a leadership that can unite the country.
“If I secure the ticket of our great party and subsequently elected president, I am ready to listen to and appreciate the feelings from every part of the country.
“These are the challenges we face today and I am very humbled by the endorsement from leading party members from this state to my aspirations and I am even more determined in this mission to restore the country to prosperity and unity,” Atiku said.
In another development, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has been quoted as saying that he is actively considering running for the presidency in the 2019 elections, and that he has been consulting and actively considering it.
According to Bloomberg, a privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, Saraki revealed his intention to the media during an interview at his residence in Abuja.
Also, Governor of Sokoto state, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has disclosed that he has been under tremendous pressure to join the Presidential race for the 2019 elections.
He told youths and students who stormed the Governor’s office in Sokoto to show appreciation on the involvement of youths in his administration that he was still making consultation because of his belief that leadership is a collective responsibility.
He said:” I’ve been under intense pressure from various quarters in Nigeria including leaders of the country and friends of Nigeria outside the country to seek the presidency.
“But leadership is a collective decision and I have never asked to be made a leader at any time in my life. So, my aspiration will be determined by my people and after that, I will make my political decision known in a matter of days.
“We supported Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 to become President unconditionally and we admit that Buhari has personal integrity but that’s not the only requirement for leadership.
“We are aware that the President is besotted by serious challenges of health and is being held captive by a cabal that runs Nigeria for their personal interests.”
On the way forward for the country, Governor Tambuwal told the youths that the future for a greater Nigeria lies with the younger generation, assuring them of his commitments to the welfare and empowerment of this group.
He reminded them that they are the leaders of tomorrow and that tomorrow is today for them to make the right choice on who leads the country.
“Someone recently referred to me as “a boy”, which is really a compliment that puts me on the side of youths, who are the strength of our nation,” he said.
The Governor enjoined the youths and particularly students among them to make sure that they participate in the National Youth Service Scheme, as his government would not accept anyone who refused to undergo the national service to our fatherland.