Following the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid by the Action Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Oby Ezekwesili’s Red Card Movement (RCM) has adopted Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as its candidate for the February 16 presidential election.
The development is coming few weeks after Ezekwesili announced that she was stepping down from her presidential race. The former Minister of Education was running for the presidency under the umbrella of the ACPN before quitting the race.
The decision to quit the presidential race against her party’s wish led to ACPM’s endorsement of President Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) some weeks ago.
Consequently, the RCM, which was set up by Ezekwesili, adopted Atiku of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for president.
The group however disclosed during a press conference in Abuja on Friday that the former minister had resigned her membership of the group before declaring her presidential ambition.
Speaking during the press conference, the group’s co-Chairman, Dr. Tony Akabuno, said their decision to back Atiku’s presidential bid hinges on the fact that he “is a successful businessman that understands governance because he learnt a lot from one of our great presidents, Obasanjo. And he has a running mate in the person of Peter Obi, that has practicalised character, competence and capacity. We are convinced that Atiku- led regime will assemble a good management team and ultimately restructure Nigeria.
Akabuno said, “Atiku’s policies will take Nigeria out of the woods and put the country back on track. Atiku’s promise of restructuring the nation and provision of jobs for the unemployed are key to a nation’s development and the Red Card Movement is ready to lend our weight behind the PDP candidate in order not to have a repeat of the 2015 scenario. We are on the same page with Atiku and whatever we do, we do it well.
“The state champions were basically saying that our red card should be to Buhari and the current president and to APC as the ruling party. As the co-chair of RCM, I decided to align with our foot soldiers. Some co-conveners also supported this position of focusing on reviewing the performance of the leadership in power, and not be distracted with historical performance of past regimes,” said the group.