While speaking in an exclusive interview during BBC Hausa morning programme on Tuesday, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, said he is not desperate to become Nigeria’s president, come 2019, as some Nigerians have said.
“If I am desperate, I wouldn’t have stepped down for M.K.O Abiola in 1993 presidential race,” he said, adding that if Nigerians could follow his political antecedent, they would not see him as a desperate politician.
He said further that “In 1993, I contested with M.K.O Abiola. I later withdrew from the race. In 1999, I was elected a governor of Adamawa state, then invited to be Nigeria’s vice president, under Olusegun Obasanjo.”
The influential politician and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party said in 2007, he contested against former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, “to show the world that I have the right to contest and I did that to satisfy my conscience”.
“All the times I have been contesting for the presidency, I have been opportune only once to be presented to Nigerians as a candidate,” he said, adding that the remaining times, he ended up only at the primary election.
“I could have become Nigeria’s president in 2003 when virtually, all the state governors then, rallied support for me to contest which I declined. I am not desperate to be president as some Nigerians view it.
“As a former vice president, I am opportune to know things. If I am opportune to be elected as a president, I will accomplish my mission by reviving the economy, by making Nigeria an investor’s haven.
“The present administration discouraged investors into the country, because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) exchange rate policies is too tedious for investors. CBN has three different exchange rate policies, which is not supposed to be.
“If elected Nigeria’s president, I will expand the nation’s source of wealth to cater for the growing youth population in the country. Nigeria can justify my claims, going by the number of youth that are working in my industries across the country,” he said.