By John Okeke
A multi religious group, Muslim and Christian Initiative for Good Leadership (MCIGL), has formerly endorsed the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the coming 2019 presidential election, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The presidential election is slated for this week Saturday.
In a communiqué read to journalists after a stakeholders meeting which took place at their Monrovia Street, Wuse 2, Abuja headquarters Monday morning, the group said the choice of Atiku Abubakar was made after painstaking deliberations and consideration of all variables, stating that the unity of Nigeria and the overall wellbeing of the country, especially the need to revamp the economy and create jobs for young people were the deciding factors.
According to the communiqué which was jointly signed by the group’s national chairman Alhaji Adamu Teku and national secretary, Finbar Aruwuonye, Nigeria is currently at a crossroad with its unity at breaking point, the need therefore to make a positive deviation from the status quo and save the nation.
“The decision to endorse former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was taken after all variables were placed on the table before the National Executive Council, state coordinators and other stakeholders present at the meeting today. After the debate, it was unanimously agreed by all members that the unity of Nigeria should be the first consideration, followed by security of lives and property of the people as well as economy and job creation, among many others.
“After consideration of all the indices, members voted overwhelmingly that Nigeria is currently on the crossroad and that its unity is at the brinks. Members agreed that the current administration cannot unite Nigeria because the body language of top members of the administration and the sponsoring political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) do not at all seem to be sensitive to the high level of disunity and acrimony in the body polity.
“Today, many sections of the country are not happy. There are several allegations of marginalization on the basis of ethnicity, religion and other areas, yet the government seems not be bothered. There have been several outcries by people complaining of appointments by nepotistic considerations as well as economy isolation. Yet nobody seems to listen or cares to address the issues,” the group said.
Another area they said was of paramount importance is security of lives and property which they said government have failed to address.
“The lives of Nigerians and their properties are no longer safe in the country because the security architectures seem to have collapsed. Initially, the government claimed to have defeated Boko Haram and later changed the slogan to technical defeat. A few days ago, the Minister for Information addressed the media in Abuja where he claimed that international terror organizations like ISIS and ISWAP are running to Africa after their defeat in Libya and Syria, adding that Nigeria is now a major focus of the conglomerate of global terror.
“What all these mean is that the government cannot secure Nigerians. It is therefore on these grounds that we are supporting Atiku to come and save the situation,” the group said.
Continuing, the communiqué said, “On economic front, it is our considered consensus that the economy of Nigeria is very sick. The Naira is still exchanging at an outrageous rate of 360 to one Dollar. Cost of living is very high with millions of Nigerians descending into the poverty index. Unemployment is on record high according to the National Bureau of Statistics as many people who were working before the government came to power are now out of job, especially in the private sector as many companies that cannot withstand the harsh investment environment in Nigeria have shut down, sacked their employees and left the country,” it said.
“We resolved that as successful business men who have hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in their employment, Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Peter Obi have what it takes to manage the economy, create millions of jobs both in the public and private sectors as well as create wealth and prosperity for the people of Nigeria,” the statement added.
On corruption, Muslim and Christian Initiative for Good Leadership said the current efforts at fighting the menace is cosmetic and one- sided.
“While the government claims it is fighting corruption, we have observed that most of the people being prosecuted are members of the opposition party while members of the ruling party are left to enjoy their loot, to the extent that the chairman of the ruling party was recently quoted to have said that crossing to APC is a sure way to escape justice. As we speak to you today, the chairman of APC has not denied the allegations that he made such a statement,” it said.
The group therefore called on all their members across the country as well as other well meaning Nigerians to troop out on Saturday to vote for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.