The reasons they adduced for the endorsement include the precarious state of Nigeria’s economy, the security situation in the country, high level of unemployment, and the fact that after three years of “rudderless” leadership by President Muhammadu Buhari, the country at the moment demands for a thoroughbred businessman to take charge of it.
Few days after endorsing Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Saturday’s presidential election, Nigerians in the United States of America said their decision was informed by the fact that Atiku remained the best option for Nigeria going forward.
According to them, it would be wrong for Nigeria to reinforce failure by voting for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), noting that governance was all about capacity and competence, and insisting that the current president had done his best but that it was not good enough to uplift the country.
Chairman of the Organising Committee of Nigerians in the United States, Dr. Nnanna Okafor, said all over the world, strong experience of the economy has become the yardstick for electing leaders.
He noted that Alhaji Abubakar has distinguished himself as an astute businessman by becoming one of the biggest employers of labour in the country.
Okafor noted that even while in government, Alhaji Abubakar realised that government was not a good manager of business and that the role of government was to provide enabling environment for the private sector to flourish.
He added that it was because of that realisation that the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) was initiated in order to privatise many moribund government companies and put them on the path of profit with great potential to create employment.
He noted also that a lot of employment was created by the Obasanjo/Abubakar administration.
According to him, Nigerians know too well that President Muhammadu Buhari is not strong on economy, saying that what Nigeria did in 2015 was like giving an officer who has not commanded a platoon, a battalion to command.
He wondered where the officer would get the experience since experience could not be bought off the shelf or on sale in any supermarket anywhere in the world.
Vice Chairman, Organising Committee, Dr. Gideon Nwagbara, said that Nigeria was at present at a crossroads, noting that the decision that Nigerians would take on Saturday would determine whether the country would go forward or backward.
Nwagbara is of the view that if Alhaji Abubakar was given the mantle of leadership in Nigeria, he has the capacity to restore the dignity of Nigeria as a true giant of Africa.
Nigerians abroad, he said, were not happy that a country as abundantly blessed with human and natural resources should be rated among the poverty stricken countries in the world, adding that countries such as Japan and China were not half as blessed as Nigeria but that what had made the difference with regards to development was leadership.
Dr. Nwagbara said he was confident that Alhaji Abubakar had the capacity to change Nigeria from a land of hunger to one of prosperity.
Arch. Nnaemeka Okonkwo, Coordinator, West Coast, said Saturday’s presidential election would be historic in the sense that it would determine whether Nigeria wants to be in the league of developed nations or remain a third world country.
He said that about 20 years ago, China, Brazil, Singapore, and Malaysia were all in the same league with Nigeria but that it was leadership that had separated the countries.
According to him, one of the things that was wrong with this current government was that apart from the president not being cerebral enough, he also does not have the capacity to spot talent who would be strong in the areas of his weaknesses.
He said it was under the administration of Obasanjo and Atiku that talents such as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chukwuma Soludo, Dora Akuyili, and others were discovered and motivated to bring out their best to work for the country.
Remarking, Chief Obinna Ogbu, Coordinator, East Coast, said the ruling party had failed to deliver in their three-prong campaign of corruption, security, and the economy.
He said what Nigerians should do was to vote them out of office so the country would have a new lease of life.
According to him, the Atiku/Obi ticket was what Nigeria needed to get out of the woods, and advised that Nigerian voters should think of the future of the country before taking their decision on Saturday.