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Atiku, Abiola, Adebayo Unveil Agendas to Northern Groups

Three presidential candidates – former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kola Abiola of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Prince Adewale Adebayo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Saturday in Kaduna, unveiled their agendas for the country ahead of the 2023 elections.

The event was jointly organised by leading northern groups – Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation (ABF), Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP) and Jamiyyar Matan Arewa (JMA).

The interaction, according to spokesman of NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, was for the candidates to share their ideas and vision for the country if they become President

“It will influence our decisions in terms of who possesses the best ideas, the best thinking

“This is a genuine attempt to get to understand what the candidates have for the North”.

Speaking at the occasion, Atiku said his agenda was focused on

economic and political transformation of a united Nigeria.

He said his development agenda had five elements- restore Nigeria’s unity, national security, build a dynamic economy for prosperity, improve education delivery and devolve more powers to the states and Local Governments.

Atiku noted that security was key to creating and sustaining an enabling environment for economic progress and promised to ensure that the security challenges facing the country were addressed.

He said, “Creating economic opportunities for Nigerians will represent significant implications for social cohesion, unity and national security.

“Increase jobs will reduce the possibility of our youths being involved in crime, violence and conflict motivated by manipulating religion or ethnic differences.

“A sound education system is needed to provide citizens with the appropriate skills and competencies to explore economic opportunities so that they can prosper”.

“My five point Development agenda is a national agenda, it identifies where we are today and where we want to be as a nation and outlines how we will get there”, he said.

He promised to grow the economy bigger and faster to achieve a GDP of approximately 900 billion by 2030.

This, according to him, will raise Nigeria’s GDP per capita from the current level of approximately 200 to 500, with additional impact on jobs and property.

He noted that although the current growth and projections are significantly lower, Nigeria has the potential to become one of the 15 global economies.

Speaking further, the former Vice President said for the north to catch up with other parts of the country, it must grow its economy.

“To restore its prosperity, the north must grow its economy.

Over the years, the north has suffered de- industrialization and long time social and economic decline.

the lower and middle income earners in our country.

“I give you an a example. I have a micro standard finance bank which is today one of the best in the country and it empowers virtually only women.

“As a result of that we have moved 45,000 families out of poverty in my state (Adamawa).

“That is why I proposed that we will set aside $10 billion to promote small businesses for young people who graduate from school to start their businesses.

He also said the education system will be revolutionized

“We will make sure that entrepreneurship is part of our curriculum in schools.

unemployment and corruption. Abiola promised to strengthen the economy and make the country an export oriented hub of Africa.

He added that it was time the young people were allowed to taste leadership in Nigeria, stressing that he will build on his late father’s democractic values.

He promised to unite Nigerians to live peacefully with one another to promote economic prosperity.

“I will use geographical and regional diversities of Nigeria for strength, unity and purposeful leadership and development”, he said.

He argued that the country could not get it right in her strive for develpment after six decades of independence because, people at the grassroots whom he noted should be the first priority of policy makers had been abandoned to fend for themselves without any form of concrete support from governments.

Three more presidential candidates are expected to appear for the interactive session on Monday.

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