JOHN SMART, Abuja
Nigeria’s opposition People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar,72, on Monday,formally launched his 2019 presidential campaign with the unveiling of policy documents that contain what he describes as his vision to get Nigeria working again.
Atiku, born 25 November 1946 was Vice President from 1999-2007 under President Olusegun Obasanjo. Political observers said,2019 may be Atiku’s last chance to run for presidency as age will not be on his side in 2023 polls if he fails to clinch. If the incumbent President Mohammadu Buhari wins,the South will produce the president for eight years in 2023.
The documents tagged the “The Atiku’s Plan” was briefed in a nine-minute address streamed live on Facebook and Twitter by the presidential hopeful.
“The sad fact today, as you know, is that too many of our people are not working and are living in poverty and insecurity,” Abubakar said.
“The very fabric of our society is breaking down. We have never been so divided as a nation,” he said.
“The most important question in this election is: are you better off than you were four years ago, are you richer or poorer? That is why our primary focus is to get Nigeria working again.”
According to Abubakar, “the two major indices of deterioration in the welfare status of Nigerians in recent times are the increasing rates of youth unemployment and high level of poverty.”
In his policy document, the former president said he is targeting a gross domestic product of $900 billion (788 billion euros) by 2025, more than double the current amount and pledged to lift “at least 50 million people out of extreme poverty”.
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