The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum has congratulated former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on his emergence as the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 presidential election.
Their position was contained in a statement on Sunday jointly signed by Yinka Odumakin, Senator Bassey Henshaw, Prof Chigozie Ogbu and Dr Isuwa Dogo.
It said the election of Atiku was a breath of fresh air to the democratic project in Nigeria which appeared threatened by manipulation of processes in intra-party conduct and general elections.
It read: “It is never too early to remind the Presidential candidate of the clear commitment to the fundamental issue of restructuring he has made overtime and which the former Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Party, Senator Makarfi adumbrated as a party agenda.
“It is clear today that no amount of good governance programs can get Nigeria out of the woods without a proper structure that can restore Nigeria to productivity under Federalism.
“We must also salute all the aspirants for walking the talk of the promise they made to us in our interface with them individually and on the floor of the convention that they would rally round the winner since they know there can only be one flag-bearer emerging from the contest.
“For the People’s Democratic Party (PDP),they have shown that they have learnt some useful lessons by organizing the best and freest primary we have seen in this season.
“We enjoin the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to take useful tips from the PDP Convention and know that our courts will not be filled with petitions nor would there be post-election violence if elections are transparently free,fair and credible.
“Now the country can look forward to a robust and heathy competition for the soul of Nigeria come February 2019.”