Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, has stated that the All Progressives Congress government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has pulled Nigeria down and “brought us back.”
The former Vice President spoke at a PDP presidential campaign rally in Yenagoa, Bayelsa’s capital, on Monday.
While promising to give the Niger Delta more powers, Abubakar stated that the region does not need to “beg” the federal government for everything because it produces the nation’s resources.
“We propose to restructure this country. You people in the Niger Delta need more restructuring than any other part of this country,” he said.
“We would give you more resources and power to deal with your problems. You don’t need to always beg the federal government for everything when you are actually producing the resources of the country.
“So, we will devolve more power and resources to you in the Niger Delta.”
Abubakar also said every developmental project done in Bayelsa since 1999 was executed by the PDP administration.
“I want to remind you since the beginning of democracy, Bayelsa has been PDP and PDP has been Bayelsa,” he said.
“Everything you see in Bayelsa today was provided by the PDP government, everything. Therefore, I am calling on you, the people of Bayelsa, not to leave PDP; don’t make the mistake of leaving PDP.
“You have provided governors and a president, and you are going to provide many more. So, the future of Nigeria and Bayelsa is tied to PDP.
“I want to appeal to you. You have listened to my programmes. I said I am committed to implementing five key programmes in this country starting from the unification of this country.”
The former vice-president said he would unify the country and tackle insecurity.
“The reason why I want to unify the country is that we have never been this divided along a number of fault lines either north-south or Muslims and Christians,” he said.
“I am going to give every part of this country a sense of belonging in the next PDP government. I promise to tackle insecurity.
“Here in Bayelsa State, you have faced a number of security challenges, and you have lost so many people due to breach of law and order. I promise I will restore security in this country.
“I also said I am going to tackle the economy of this country. If you recall, the PDP government, between 1999 and 2015, had the best economy in Africa. But the APC has pushed us back and brought us down.
“We promise that we are going to tackle the economy and make sure that we provide jobs and other opportunities for our young men and women to be gainfully employed either in the private sector or public sector.”