Aides and supporters of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar watched in disbelief as the Peoples Democratic Party presidential aspirant wept at his campaign office on Friday in Abuja when he received the party’s expression of interest and nomination forms from his supporters.
The supporters, under the aegis of the Atiku Support Group, purchased the forms which cost N12m for the former stalwart of the All Progressives Congress.
Atiku’s eyes became misty and he eventually wept when a member of the ASG, Princess Adekemi Adesanya, narrated the bad economic and security situation in the country.
Looking downcast, Atiku had to reach for his white handkerchief to wipe the tears from his face.
He said he was astonished that young men and women would come together to purchase the forms even without his knowledge.
He said, “You could have seen that one of the ladies who spoke virtually succeeded in getting me to weep. This is because she aptly described the challenges every Nigerian is facing in this country today and she believed honestly and sincerely from the bottom of her heart that I could be an instrument of addressing those challenges.
“So, for such a woman to believe that I have got those leadership qualities and including those of you who have brought out money to buy this form, is one of the most serious challenges I have ever faced in my political career (sic).
“And believe me, addressing those challenges is possible because we have brought young men and women, Nigerians who have got the talents, who have got the education, who have got the experience, who have got all what it takes to honestly turn this country around.
“Putting together such talented young Nigerians requires leadership and it is that leadership we have not been fortunate enough to have on a consistent basis that has prevented this country from taking her rightful position in Africa and indeed, the world.”
He praised the late Gen. Musa Yar’Adua, his political mentor, who he said did everything for the country in order to make it a better place.
Also on Friday, President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, and a former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, purchased PDP presidential nominations and expression of interest forms.
The forms were picked on behalf of Saraki after the payment of N12m by the Director-General of the Saraki Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mohammed Wakil, at the party’s national secretariat.
Kwankwaso posed for camera with his forms at the Wadata House, National Headquarters of the PDP in Abuja.