Traffic in all the streets in Calabar, from the Odukpani Junction leading to Calabar and the U J Esuene stadium was at snail speed, a train-like gridlock of traffic, yet the people were radiating with Joy and beamming with happiness and enthusiasm.
The people stay put patiently at the stadium chanting Atiku/Obi solidarity victory songs waiting for their President in the waiting to arrive from Makurdi without complaining, but with all amount of robust excitements.
The surging unprecedented energetic concourses and galaxy of sea of human heads within and outside the UJ Esuene Stadium on Friday would have caused even the hardest of Atiku’s ill-wishers and opponents to humbly capitulate to the natural unconstrained excitements that expands within them and penetrate every part of their being in a wonderous contagious estasy as they listened to the Atikulated songs coming in unison from over three million Atikulated Cross Riverians.
The horde of hyper-excited Cross Riverians and other Nigerians from all parts of the country and from different ethno-religious, socio-economic and political background was reminiscence of a people eargely waiting to receive an Emancipator/liberator who was coming to give them a new hope and chart a new course for the future.
U J Esuene stadium was so packed beyond it’s capacity limit within and outside and the surrounding environs and streets that a grain of sand thrown up would have found it impossible to find its way to the ground without dropping on people’s heads and shoulders as the innumerable crowd were standing and seating shoulder to shoulder within and outside the stadium.
The enormous cloud of people, some arrayed in different colourful uniforms ranging from women, men and youths as well as numerous political support groups who thronged the UJ Esuene stadium on Friday, February 8, from the 18 LGAs of the state and from every nooks and crannies of Calabar was a positive aligment and Divine constellation indicating that God Almighty has chosen the Atiku/Obi ticket to steer the Nigerian ship out of the present murky waters and political quicksand, insensitivity and impunity.
When Atiku/Obi arrived the UJ Esuene stadium, at about 5: 30pm there was a thounderous and simultaneous shouting and chanting of Atiku’s solidarity songs, so sonorous from the Mammoth crowd loud enough that it might have reveberated throughout the length and breathe of Calabar and the environs.
Atiku and his running mate, Obi did not disappoint the people as they reassured the people that from May 29, 2019, when PDP shall take over the Government at the national level courtesy of Nigerians, by the grace of God, their hopes and that of their children and future generations shall be restored.
Atiku who spoke glowingly about Cross River State and her people and emotionally told the people that the first job he got as a young man was given to him by a Cross Riverian and that he will ever remain graceful to the people and the state.
The Waziri of Adamawa, gave a firm assurance that by the special grace of God and with the firm trust of Nigerians on PDP and his ticket with the running mate, Peter Obi, when they shall win the Presidential elections on Saturday February 16, 2019, one of the prime projects his administration will go headlong to support and ensure the speedy completion will include the Cross River, Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 275km super highway.
The PDP candidate reasoned that supporting such viable projects to fruition will provide thousands of employment opportunities for the people of Cross River and the rest of Nigerians and will help boost both the State and the nation’s economy.
Atiku used the opportunity of the campaign rally to advise the military institution to be seriously guided by the Constitution of Nigeria as they have no constitutional role to play during elections, stressing that such role rather belong to the Nigeria Police.
He thanked the people of Cross River State for turning out in such an earth moving unprecedented crowd to welcome him and to show solidarity and love for Atiku/Obi and PDP in the next week Presidential and National Assembly Elections fixed for Saturday, February 16, 2019.
Atiku further assured that by the grace of God, the PDP led Government under his leadership should create employment opportunities for the teeming young people of Nigeria and other category, shall oil the economy by bringing foreign investors as well as encouraging Local investors to bolster the nation’s economy, to better the lives of Nigerians and also create an appropriate environment for the country to take it’s rightful place in the comity of nations in the 21st century.
Taking a close look at Atiku’s.policy document,. christened, “Let’s Get Nigeria Working Again”, it is lucid beyond any shadow of doubt that the Atiku/Obi ticket has great and robust plan for the prosperity of the nation and it’s individual citizens. that will address the following verifiable lapses in our national life as a.people.
The chronic national lapses include but not limited to retarded and sluggish economic growth that is irritating and uninspiring, economic that has remained undiversified, uncompetitive with declining foreign investments, with fragile financial system.with poor exchange rate management and regional disparities.
Collaborating with the states to promote agric and agro- based business will be one of the top priority of his administration as well as the promotion of the manufacturing sector for increased manufacturing output from nine per cent, to 30 per cent of GDP by 2025 is equally Paramount on his development blueprint for the nation.
In the 63 page document, human capital development, job creation, poverty eradication as well as infrastructure development are the four Cardinal points an pillars in which the Atiku/Obi administration will draw it’s economic development policy’s inspiration from when elected President.
Atiku development document is committed to creating three million jobs annually, deliver on easy, accessible and affordable transportation system for the country, promote the diversification of the economy, ensure the re-launching of the National Open Apprenticeship Programme (NOAP), just he will deliberately work for the speedy passage of the National Research and Innovation Fund Bill.
The PDP presidential candidate said his administration, if elected, would increase Nigeria’s export base and the country’s market in Africa; sign-off the African Free Trade Continental Agreement (AfCFTA), which the Buhari government has failed to sign; engage the organised private sector to identify how best to harness the benefits of the Africa Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA); promote public-private partnerships, among others.
Other of Atiku’s areas of focus in his document include to strengthen anti-corruption and rule of law, spearhead institutional reforms of anti-corruption agencies and give the more bite, fashion out a new direction for Nigeria’s foreign policy instruments and reactivate registrations at birth to ameliorate crime and to protect Nigerians.
Apart from the aforementioned focus, the former Vice President, asserted that as President, he will work to ensure that Nigeria surpasses it’s dreamed expectations of development and go on to ensure an increased inflow of foreign direct investment to a maximum of 2.5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025.
He equally revealed that his administration will focus on working to ensure that Nigeria achieves the lowest corporate income tax rate in Africa, while at the same time evolve deliberate policy to strengthen credit guarantee initiatives of infra-credit, through substantially increasing its capital base while lowering transaction costs; etc.
Harping on the issue of poverty in Nigeria, Atiku posited in the document that, “Poverty does not simply have one solution; rather it requires the concerted application of many solutions. Nigeria has vast natural resources, but our challenge remains harnessing these resources for the greatest good.
Atiku’s policy document priority on the informal.sector is to provide a robust support to the about 40 million MSMEs providing jobs to 60 million people , approximately 84 percent of the labour force, promote theoil and gas sector through expansion of the oil and gas reserve, including boosting the upstream and downstream production, and build a knowledge based economy and a technology support programme to be funded by a Diaspora bond.
In the sensitive area of power, electricity and how to increase access of Nigerians to electricity, emphatically maintained that, “There would be deliberate efforts to increase access to electricity for Nigerians, including those in rural areas. My vision is to ensure that Nigeria’s economy is responsive to the challenges of the 21st century knowledge economy by keeping the amazingly dynamic technological pace. I will like to see a country where our people live and work in an environment that guarantees the highest level of social empowerment.”
The former vice president stressed that Nigeria could surpass its growth expectations beyond its dreams, and that he will work to reinforce Nigeria’s unity through encouraging the spirit of cooperation and consensus building in a society that is as complex and heterogeneous as ours and that there is every need to build a solid Democratic culture and foundation for all to aspire to their full potentials through greater autonomy to the federating components and ensure each region has a Sense of belonging and inclusiveness in the federation.
Atiku lamented that inspite of the enormous human and natural resources which God has endowed the nation,the expected development and living standards has remained a far cry in the country, reassuring that “we can get Nigeria working again.“
Continnuing, the PDP Presidential candidate further stressed that “Nigeria’s under-performance is attributable largely to the many economic and political structural fault lines that limits its ability to sustain growth, create jobs and achieve real poverty reduction. Nigeria needs a unity that is transparently and collectively negotiated and agreed upon. We need to restructure our polity.”
Nigerians are highly optimistic that being a product of an elaborate consultation with Nigerians from all sections of the country and from all background, the letters and Spirit of the policy document usher in a new horizon of socio-economic, cultural and political stability and equilibrium to the various components of the Nigerian federation, providing the basis for harmonious coexistence, mutual respect, respect for human life and the rule of law founded upon Democratic principles/tenets.
God bless Atiku/Obi ticket for Nigerians as we all remained digitally Atikulated and turn out in our numbers to vote in the team with the right style of governce and policies in their kitty that will once again bring back life to this nation from May 29, 2019 by God’s grace.
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