Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wept on Friday, during the presentation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expression of interest and nomination forms bought for him by his supporters.
Without his knowledge, his supporters under the aegis of the Atiku Support Group purchased the N12million forms for him.
Atiku cried when Princess Adekemi Adesanya, a member of the support group, narrated how bad the country’s economy and security is.
“I speak the voice of millions of mothers in Nigeria who bear the brunt of the gale of jobs losses in the country and I speak on behalf of women of this country urging you to rescue Nigeria from this current bad situation. And to show you that we are solidly behind you, we have chosen to purchase your nomination form and expression of interest form from the PDP to contest for president in 2019 and we shall give you all of our support.”
The former Vice President who could not hold himself broke down in tears, saying that he was astonished and felt loved seeing that young men and women could come together to purchase the forms for him even without his knowledge.
“I have been in politics for the past three decades and in those three decades I have only been on the ballot for the presidential election only once and that was in 2007.
“But not once in those three decades have I received this much love from the people as you have done today by choosing to purchase nomination forms on my behalf.
“You could have seen that one of the ladies who spoke virtually succeeded in getting me to weep. This is because she aptly described the challenges every Nigerian is facing in this country today and she believed honestly and sincerely from the bottom of her heart that I could be an instrument of addressing those challenges.
“So, for such a woman to believe that I have got those leadership qualities and including those of you who have brought out money to buy this form, is one of the most serious challenges I have ever faced in my political career.
“And believe me, addressing those challenges is possible because we have brought young men and women, Nigerians who have got the talents, who have got the education, who have got the experience, who have got all what it takes to honestly turn this country around.
“Putting together such talented young Nigerians requires leadership and it is that leadership we have not been fortunate enough to have on a consistent basis that has prevented this country from taking her rightful position in Africa and indeed, the world.”
“By this action, there is a pact between you and me that we are going to do this work together. Just as you gathered here together, we shall enter the race for the PDP nomination together and together also into the general election and by the grace of God and through your hard work, I believe that we are going to win together,” he said.
Mr. Atiku further praised late Gen. Musa Yar’Adua, who he described as his political mentor, saying that he did everything in order to make Nigeria a better place.
Atiku will be contesting the PDP Presidential Primary election against other political heavyweights who are also interested in the party’s ticket.
Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso whose supporters practically shutdown Utako in Abuja with red caps when they came to show support at his formal declaration also picked his form on Friday.
Senate President Bukola Saraki who also declared his interest to contest on Thursday also picked his forms too.