Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has confirmed he would be joining the 2019 presidential race.
He said would privatise parts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which has suffered mismanagement over the years, if elected president in 2019.
Atiku, who had re-joined the opposition PDP last December after falling out with the ruling APC, said he will also let the naira currency float to attract foreign investment.
“I will allow the Naira to float because I believe that is one of the ways foreign direct investment can be encouraged to come in,” the ex-VP told Reuters in an interview published on Sunday, May 13.
With many Nigerians and former leaders in the country clamouring for a relatively younger president in 2019, the huge popularity of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, 75, in the north, and the ongoing alliances being formed among political parties, the dream of Atiku, 71, to secure the PDP presidential ticket let alone unseating Buhari would not be a walk in the park.
The former vice president, however, is arguably the only northern politician, as of now, who can challenge Buhari if the brewing powerplay works in his favour.
Expansion of other sectors
Under the PDP administration from 1999 – 2007, Atiku implemented a program of liberalization in areas including telecoms sector which saw a surge in the economy.
He said he would do more if he becomes president in 2019.
“I am also going to expand it to include the oil and gas sector which have not been touched at all and other major sectors of the economy like mining, solid minerals,” he told Reuters.
Pulse earlier reported that the PDP, Obasanjo-backed African Democratic Congress (ADC) and about 35 other political parties are in talks to support one presidential aspirant ahead of the 2019 election, with the primary goal to oust Buhari.