The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, appealed to people of the Northeast sub-region, to utilize the opportunity of producing the next president of Nigeria by voting for him.
Backstory: Atiku made the appeal in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State, on Wednesday at a campaign rally. He urged the crowd to elect him because he is one of their own, saying the 2019 presidential election provides the sub-region with a rare opportunity.
“Since the Tafawa Balewa administration of the First Republic, the Northeast has not had another opportunity to produce Nigeria’s president,” Atiku said.
The presidential candidate reassured them that his government will be inclusive, saying that women and youth would be given an opportunity to serve in his administration if he is elected.
He also used the opportunity to caution security operatives and personnel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against taking sides, urging them to maintain neutrality while executing their responsibilities.
The presidential candidate said if elected, he will guaranty security and provide infrastructure across the state.
Bottom Line: Atiku has never been above playing the regional card when it suits him. The most infamous case was in the buildup to the 2011 elections when he and some other Northern aspirants within the PDP argued that power must return to the zone and came up with a Northern consensus candidacy scheme to take on Goodluck Jonathan in the PDP primary. Despite that, Jonathan still won.