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Buhari and Atiku ‘BUTIKU’ are one entity – Obiageli Ezekwesili

The presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Obiageli Ezekesili, has said that journalists should stop distinguishing between Buhari and Atiku.

According to both candidates are not in anyway different. She the coined ‘BUTIKU’ as an acronym for both president Buhari and Atiku.

The ACPN flag bearer in an interview with the Premium Times, explained that the reason why she cannot continue with Obasanjo, despite that many regarded her as the former president’s favourite.

She said: ”I am not on any platform that is not a platform that is a change in direction. President Obasanjo will continue to be someone that has played an important role in this nation, someone that I will always respect.”

”Someone that I served in his government with professionalism and we go way back.”

”I was one of the young people that were selected on the African Leadership Forum when they began to get young people across the continent of Africa to give them a premium leadership (training).

But one thing very clear is that I am someone everybody knows to have a mind of her own. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work! I don’t get into platforms based on group thing.

I believe that right now in our country, we need a complete change of direction. The basis of my campaign has, after all, been the idea that we cannot be held hostage by the extant political class that has been at the centre of poor governance and bad leadership.

Responding to how she intend to beat Buhari and Atiku with so much resources, Obiageli responded thus:

Ezekwesili: By being strategic and leveraging on the things I have that they don’t have. None of these candidates can be placed on the same pedestal if your criteria for determining quality leadership are the things that the rest of the world emphasises.

I am the candidate with character, competence, capacity in the form that a new direction requires in the country.

I am the candidate that reflects the ideals of any Nigerian who is fed up with failure. I am the candidate who speaks to the issues that matter to the young people and women and these are segments of our population that are the most afflicted by the failure of governance.

I am the candidate who has got the capacity to use knowledge as the basis of a campaign on issues of governance.

The reason is simple: the traditional systems of electioneering focused on plenty of deep pockets. Where is that deep pocket coming from? It is coming from the same kind of governance that I am against.

I don’t have the same kind of strategy. So my strategy is to look at the distribution problem.

A distribution problem in the sense that I need to get a distribution of my message in a virtual kind of way that then becomes bodies of people acting on the basis of the messages; and technologically, we have our system of solving a distribution problem.

I think that as we are solving a distribution problem, then we are coupling it with the traditional system that our party (offers), a party that has managed to keep its self for 15 years without being assimilated by the octopuses that are in the land. So, our readiness is to create a different Nigeria.

Our own mechanism of the grassroots is to emphasise that we must stop failing and the biggest indicator of our failure is the growing trend of poverty.

That is why the signature thing for us is that we will run the economy to enhance productivity and competitiveness as citizens so that in the process we would be able to lift 80 million Nigerians out of poverty.

So on the basis of this, the grassroots engagement for our party is a huge premium. On one hand, we have the grassroots thing, on the other hand, we have the technology and this combination will deliver one of the surprises in our political history and this is not a boast.

Ezekwesili: We are going to shock the ‘BUTIKU’ team. Stop calling them different names (Mr Buhari and Mr Atiku) because they are one entity.

We will shock them. I am not running alone, I need you to know that. We are all running, only those who are not fed up with a failing Nigeria will not be running with me.

Those who are fed up and tired of knowing that our country has overtaken India (in poverty) which is almost seven times our country and become the country with the largest contingent of people living on extreme poverty will not be running with me.

Those who are comfortable with the fact that about four million people enter labour market every year seeking opportunities of decent jobs but it’s only 10 per cent of them that will find those jobs, they are the ones that will not run with me.

Those comfortable that Nigeria is number 15 in the global fragility index, those comfortable with knowing maternal mortality rate, infant mortality and child mortality rate of Nigeria is above the African average will not run with me.

But, all those in the country tired of this evidence of the failure of governance will be running with me.

They will run with me because they can not afford to run with a political class that has become incapable, promising us the same thing that has not produced anything meaningful for the citizens.