A group, known as North East Business Forum, on Thursday purchased the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nomination form for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this came less than 24 hours after the party commenced sales of nomination and expression of interest form to aspirants that want to contest 2023 general elections in the platform of the party.
The PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) on Wednesday at its 95th meeting approved guidelines for the conduct of its primaries for all elective position, fixing the presidential expression of interest form at N5 million and nomination form at N35 million
The Chairman of the forum, Alhaji Dalhatu Funakaya, presenting the forms to Abubakar at his Asokoro residence in Abuja, said the gesture was in fulfilment of their promise to foot the bill for his nomination forms.
“We made a pledge in Gombe in November 2021 and we called on him to contest and pledged to purchase nomination form for him,” Funakaya said.
He expressed optimism that with the fulfilment of their part, Abubakar would declare for the 2023 presidential election.
Responding, Abubakar commending the forum’s gesture and recalled how the same gesture was extended to him for 2019 general elections, which made him emotional.
“In 2018 or 2019 some young men contributed money and bought a nomination form, the first in political history since the return of democracy to our country and truly they made me to shed tears.
“They put together their hard earned money and purchased me a nomination form, that actually brought tears from my eyes. I was emotional about it.
“Now again today like the chairman of the North East Business Forum said, we were invited and another gesture was extended to me. It was a promise. And today it is a promise fulfilled,” he said.
Abubakar, however, said national unity was critical in tackling the challenges facing the country.
“The challenges before us are historical; our unity threatened, economy in worst state of affairs and our security is a disaster.
“This is why there must be unity to address these challenges.
“The challenges before us is greater than our differences of ethnicity and religion,” he advised.
Also speaking, the founder of Africa Independent Television (AIT), High Chief Raymond Dopkesi, described Abubakar as a man with capability to tackle the challenges of lack of unity, economic distress and ensure progress of youths.
Dokpesi applauded the business community in the North for recognising the capacity of Atiku whom he described as a foremost investor in Nigeria.
He added that Abubakar’s wealth of experience in private and public sectors made him the most suitable person for the office. (NAN)