The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has described the choice of his running mate as a perfect strategy to unify the country.
Atiku had last month unveiled the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate in the 2023 presidential election.
He was responding to the decision of his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to pick a fellow Muslim, Kashim Shettima, as his running mate.
In a statement issued on Monday by his media aide, Paul Ibe, the former Vice President said he viewed Nigeria from the prism of religious, ethnic and tribal divides.
The statement read: “It’s up to them. What drives Atiku and the PDP is different from what drives other parties. I can’t speak for them, we can’t speak for them. I don’t know what their motivation is. But I can tell you about that of Atiku Abubakar.
“It’s what has defined his life to understand that diversity that is Nigeria, inclusivity. He sees Nigeria from the prism of religious, ethnic and tribal divides. Nigeria is his constituency and that’s why as far as his campaign is concerned what he envisions is a country of one people with one future.
“He knows that at this particular point in time when the country is so divided and polarized along our fault lines, the biggest challenge that we have, the most important, the most critical is about unifying the country and bringing people together before you can even have the arduous task of economic development.
“So, that is important for him and I think that has informed the choices that he has made. Every choice that we make there will always be consequences.
“This is Nigeria. Nigerians are going to make a determination. You are talking about people who have lived under a climate and a culture with an absence of inclusivity and some people are classified as second-class citizens.
“We are talking about the same Nigerians who have lived under a state of pervasive insecurity where lives and property are not safe.
“The question is, are their lives better? They are going to make that determination because I believe that every Nigerian wants a better country that is secure.
“They want a country where they would be included, they want a country where they would have access to the most basic of social services, they want a country where they would be able to have opportunities, have a job to food on the table, so that their children when they go to school they are safe from harm.
“Those are the people, not outsiders, that are going to make the determination. I believe the outcome of all this is that they would tilt towards a candidate, a ticket that is well disposed, that is more viable to be able to provide all of these things that have been lacking in the last seven years.”
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