The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has urged Nigerians to back him to forge a new era of hope and prosperity for the nation.
The former vice president is one of the favourites to emerge victorious in the 2019 presidential election, and he has called on Nigerians to make it a reality so that the nation can set a new course of leadership.
In a new year message signed by the candidate on Monday, December 31, 2018, he noted that the year 2019 holds a lot of promise for the country as long as Nigerians are ready to do the hard work of voting out the current government.
He said Nigerians must work deliberately to improve the nation by electing a government that offers purposeful leadership.
“We already have the vision, the vision of a nation that is a beacon of hope for the Black Race and the world at large, what we lack and what 2019 can provide, is the leadership that has the capacity to translate that vision into reality.
“In 2019, Nigerians need a leadership that is 100% for 100% of Nigerians, 100% of the time,” he said.
Read his full statement below:
“My dear fellow citizens,
“As 2018 comes to an end and 2019 beckons, on behalf of my family and I, let me wish you and your family a very happy New Year in advance.
“In 2018, we became the world headquarters for extreme poverty, however, I am convinced that in 2019, if we chart a new course, we can become the world headquarters for hope and extreme devotion to the cause of lifting our people out of poverty.
“2019 is as yet a blank page. As a nation, we must not settle for whatever it brings. Rather, we must take collective action, through our choices, in making it a year where we revive national hope, with visionary leadership that sees our economy and institutions working again as they did in our golden era.
“We can chart a new course and open a new chapter that sees every Nigerian living in peace and prosperity with their neighbour. It can be the year when our youths finally get a job instead of being unfairly tagged as lazy. With purposeful leadership, it can also be the year when we put an end to terrorism and usher in a golden age of peace.
“But it will not just happen by itself. We have to make changes from the top all the way to the bottom. We already have the vision, the vision of a nation that is a beacon of hope for the Black Race and the world at large, what we lack and what 2019 can provide, is the leadership that has the capacity to translate that vision into reality.
“In 2019, Nigerians need a leadership that is 100% for 100% of Nigerians, 100% of the time. We have seen where division and sectionalism has led us to. Now let us try unity and patriotism.
“Don’t lose heart and hope. Nigeria is no stranger to overcoming difficulties. In fact, we have an uncanny ability to perform our best when the worst is upon us. I urge my fellow countrymen and women to remember how we became the first nation in the world to defeat and overcome the Wild Ebola Virus, when even First World nations were struggling with the scourge.
“That resilience is domiciled in our national psyche and together we shall win forever. We shall win over forces of disunity. We shall win over forces of poverty and backwardness.
“But more importantly, in 2019, I want Nigerians to know that it is possible to have a leadership that is compassionate and that this does not equate to weakness. A leadership that is bold but not domineering. A leadership that is intelligent, but not arrogant.
“Indeed, that is the only type of leadership that can navigate the difficulties currently facing our dear nation and lead us to Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress, which are our national motto and which are the hope of all Nigerians.
“Once again, I wish you all a Happy New Year and may 2019 be the year of Nigeria.”
2019 presidential election
While next year’s election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is expected to be keenly-contested between Atiku and President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), they both face competition from other candidates including Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).
Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.
79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria’s electoral history.