The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday, November 16 vowed to uphold press freedom if he wins the 2023 presidential election.
Atiku made the promise when he engaged members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors [NGE] in Lagos state.
Giving accolades to the Nigerian media, the former Vice President said: “I want to pay tribute to the press for their role in the restoration of democracy in Nigeria. Many of you have sacrificed your life and career.”
He also used the opportunity of the interactive session to reel out his plans for Nigerians as contained in his manifesto titled “My Covenant with Nigerians” and the Recover Agenda of the PDP.
Atiku kicked off his speech by informing the editors that he sees himself as a true Nigerian in every sense mainly because he has spent the greater part of his career in the south and as such, he knows the south as much as he knows the north.
When asked about his economic blueprint for Nigeria, Atiku said he intends to continue with the economic policy of the PDP government in 1999-2007 which includes liberalizing the economy, empowering the private sector and continuing with the privatization agenda of the Obasanjo-led administration.
“If you look at the thriving economy in the world, they allow the private sector to run the economy. If you see the amount of work the government has to do in terms of constructing and decongesting our ports, railway, and you have to borrow, I will rather concession most of these projects to the private sector and give them tax incentives. This will bring progress, prosperity and peace”.
Speaking on the unity of the country, the ex-VP said: “In 1999, we had two presidential candidates from the south and the PDP won resoundingly well but we had a government of national unity.
“We had APP, AD ministers and the country became one and this provided the peace and stability that we wanted. This is what I intend to do. PDP will set up a government of national unity. It is one of the ways to unite this country. Every section or geo-political zone will be carried along in appointments in every sector.”
Reminding the editors that the PDP government had more women in government than the current APC, Atiku said he would continue in that line by ensuring more women and youths participation in government should he win the 2023 presidential elections.
When asked about his model of restructuring if it means resource control, the former vice president said: “I have set up a team of credible constitution lawyers to give me legislation I will present to the National Assembly on day one but I can’t share the document with you. Devolution of power goes hand in hand with a measure of resource control but it depends on the type of power we want to devolve.”
On his part, the DG PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Governor Tambuwal, thanked the media for their role in deepening democracy in Nigeria and urged the media to be apolitical while reporting all sides of the divide as we head towards the general election.