The robust business acumen and multiple affiliations with major ethnic groups in Nigeria will boost the chances of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in next year’s election.
This is coming just as APC controlled Federal Government expressed a strong belief that the loyalty of citizenry is not in doubt as their conscience could never be bought with money or material inducement.
The Director General of the Atiku Mandate Group, Comrade Frank Adegbeji, made this remarks at a rally held in support of the Presidential ambition of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Thursday in Lagos.
The solidarity rally is meant to sensitize Nigerians on the candidature of the former vice president as well as mobilise supporters ahead of the polls.
Comrade Adegbeji described as propaganda the many controversies sounding Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, including his alleged inability to travel to the US over corruption related matters.
“Everything that has been said about Atiku Abubakar is just propaganda, those are not the true pictures of his person”.
He appealed to Nigerians to give the former Vice President the opportunity to turn the fortunes of this country around with the many years of experience garnered in the field of business and while serving in government.
But the spokesperson to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Mr Laolu Akande said this against the backdrop of concerns raised by some members of the country’s legislature over the tradermoni initiative of the Federal government.
The tradermoni initiative is one of the social investment programmes of President Muhammadu led administration targeted at over two million petty traders across the country who have little or no access to loans from financial institutions.
Akande dispelled insinuations that the disbursement of funds to beneficiaries of the programme is designed to sway prospective voters in favour of the country’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He particularly refuted allegations that the disbursement of the funds in Osun State on the eve of the governorship election was a form of vote buying.
“The truth of the matter is that we do not share the idea that the loyalty of Nigerians could be bought, we take objection to that.
“On the contrary, we believe that as a government we should fulfil all campaign promises that were made prior to the 2015 elections,” he said.
He affirmed that the government of President Muhammdu Buhari will not because of political considerations renege on its promises to the people.
“Why should we suspend giving assistance to many of these petty traders?
“We don’t think that because of some contrived political perceptions we should suspend what we had planned ahead of whatever may be going on just because some people feel very uncomfortable.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is very firmly committed to the common man and this administration will continue to seek, protect and project the interest of the common man”.
Over 800,000 petty traders across the thirty-six states in Nigeria have so far benefitted from the Tradermoni initiative with more targeted before the end of the year.
By Taiwo Ojedele, Lagos