Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has received his Certificate of Return as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party from the National Working Committee (NWC) of the main opposition party.
Atiku who received the certificate at the headquarters of the PDP at Wadata Plaza in Abuja thanked the Senator Iyorchia Ayu-led committee for the success of the convention and for providing aspirants with a level playing field.
He, however, noted that it is time for the party to end the All Progressives Congress’ callous and dangerous misrule over the past seven years and save the country.
A statement from his media office reads, “When I came in April and informed the National Working Committee of my intention to offer myself for consideration as the Presidential flag-bearer of our great party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, in the forthcoming Presidential Election, I was well received. The NWC assured me that it would be fair and provide every aspirant a level playing field.
“I was also assured that once a candidate emerged from our primary election you would all support that candidate and work very hard to ensure our victory in the Presidential election and of course the governorship and legislative elections across the country.
“I am honoured and quite humbled to receive this Certificate of Return, having emerged as our party’s Presidential Candidate in our just concluded Special Convention. This victory is a victory for all of us, for our party and for the vast majority of Nigerians suffering under the misrule of the APC. It was a collective effort, and I am very grateful for everybody’s contributions.
“Let me first thank the Organizing Committee for the Convention under the leadership of the rock-solid Senator David Mark, for putting together a rancor-free and successful Convention.
“I want to specially thank the National Working Committee of our Party, led by the National Chairman, the unflappable Senator Iyorchia Ayu, for the excellent way that it has steered the affairs of this party, including overseeing the successful Convention.
“I am particularly grateful that you kept your word and gave us contestants fair treatment despite your likely varying sympathies and what must have been a pressure-laden and difficult situation.
“Your integrity and even-handedness must be commended. I commend our party’s National Executive Committee for putting our party and our country first in its deliberations and decision-making.
“I thank all those who assisted my campaign in a variety of ways to enable me to crisscross this vast country and make my case to our delegates and other party elders and members.
“To all those who volunteered their time to help with organizing the Convention, as well as all the security personnel and agencies who ensured an orderly event and the safety of the attendees, I say thank you very much.
“I also thank my family for putting up with my demands and the disruptions this quest to serve obviously bring about.
“My chairman, my dear friends, while I am excited and happy for this opportunity to bear our party’s flag, let us all remember that what just happened is a contest within a family to decide how to put our best foot forward. The main contest is the one to win the Presidency of our country for our Party.
“And it requires the entire PDP family and other supporters and sympathizers. We must pull everyone together. Nobody should be excluded. I have already visited some of those who contested against me as a way to lead in that effort to unify the party so that we can face our real opponents, defeat them in the elections and begin the process of rescuing and rebuilding this country.
“The callous and dangerous APC misrule over the past seven years is there for everyone to see. However, we should not take their defeat for granted. We must unite and work extremely hard for every single vote in this country. There is so much to do and there is little time to waste. So, let’s get to work.”