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2011: Group rallies support for Atiku presidency

A political movement, the Atiku Progressive Forum (APF) said it has started mobilizing grassroots support for the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to contest the presidential election in the upcoming 2011 general elections.

In a chat with newsmen in Abuja weekend, the APF’s Director of Mobilization, North-West Zone, Isah Ladan said the forum was trying to create better awareness and understanding of who exactly Atiku is and what are his aspirations politically for this country.

He said, “Initially, we try to create awareness about the rigging problem in Nigeria’s election history and how we think people can stop it. As we know, Atiku is trying to mobilise the grassroots people so that they can know what to do to stop rigging during election. Currently, we are registering people who are interested in seeing a better Nigeria in terms of democratic rule.”

On the speculation that Atiku lost his political platform, he debunked the insinuation, saying it is not true. “Atiku is a strong member of the AC and its presidential candidate. He has never betrayed anyone in the past and therefore he is not betraying the AC because he is part of those that decided to come together and have an alternative party to the PDP. AC is his party and we are going to use it as well as any another political party or group that shares same view with us to actualise this.”

Ladan further argued that Atiku had the potentials and capabilities to win 2011 presidential election.

“Of course, yes, Atiku has the potentials with support of Nigerians to win the upcoming presidential election in 2011. He has left behind legacies that no other politician in this country has left so far. We believe he would solve the problems of the common man in this country and that is why we are supporting him,” he explained.

There is an indication that President Yar’adua would contest the presidency in 2011 election. Going by the relationship between Yar’adua’s family and that of Atiku, does he think he is determined to contest against Yar’adua?

Ladan, who also contested for the House of Representatives ticket in 2007 from Dutsinma-Kurfi federal constituency under the AC in Katsina state argued that although there is relationship between Atiku’s family and that of Yar’adua, there is nothing wrong if he (Atiku) wants to contest because this is democracy and contesting with Yar’adua would not in any way show betrayal or misunderstanding.

Talking about dividends of democracy in Katsina state, he expressed dissatisfaction with the activities of the PDP led state government under Governor Ibrahim Shema, saying that, “It was a total failure as the government of Shema failed to ensure better wellbeing to the people of the state.”

On the ongoing debate about the electoral reform in the country, he expressed fear that the reforms might not be implemented if the federal government takes serious measures towards the established policies on the reforms, arguing that, “the problem with Nigeria is the implementation because someone would come up with good policy but the implementation would be lacking and everything would be lost.”

He, therefore, expressed optimism that with proper implementation of electoral reform it would ensure free and fair playing ground for the elections in the country as well as the support of people, especially at the grassroot level Atiku would win the 2011 presidency.

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