Atiku Abubakar, standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he has since resolved not to resort to personal attacks against his opponents in the presidential race.
In a statement issued by his media office, Abubakar said this on Thursday in Ibadan, the Oyo capital before he attended the party’s presidential campaign rally at Mapo.
In the run-up to the elections, there has been a barrage of verbal attacks by candidates against their opponents.
Though checks by TheCable on Abubakar’s recent comments show he has refrained from personal attacks against his opponents, his campaign council and spokespersons have been found wanting.
The PDP candidate said rather than disparage his opponents, he will “take the high road of dignity” and focus on the proposals in his manifesto.
“I have since resolved not to descend to the low level of personal attacks and lies being peddled by my opponents. Nor will I join issues with those who, in an attempt to cover their character deficiencies, resort to mudslinging and gutter language, in a desperate attempt to disparage their fellow contestants,” Abubakar said.
“I’d rather take the high road of dignity and statesmanship to continue to advance our manifesto, as we continue to inform the Nigerian people of how the Atiku-Okowa government intends to stop the slip into the abyss by a country that is so blessed with human and natural resources.
“I will remind them about our past success when I served Nigeria meritoriously as the vice-president in the government that has been adjudged as the best so far since our return to democracy in 1999.
“I want to share our dreams and achievable development plans for our today and our future. We shall assemble a team of some of the brightest and best Nigerians that abound within the country and in the diaspora to assist in rebuilding our country. This is my commitment and my contract with the Nigerian people.
“To this end, my priorities shall include but not be limited to unifying the nation to give every citizen that is a Nigerian, every state and every gender, religion and ethnicity a sense of justice, inclusion, equity and trust.”
Abubakar said if elected, his administration will ensure that Nigerians feel safe and secure “as opposed to the regime of pervasive insecurity that has gripped the entire country for too long”.
The former vice-president also said he will be preoccupied with “resetting Nigeria’s battered economy” by finding sustainable solutions to the “recurring issues of debt management, deficits, subsidies, and the flagging value of the naira”.
“The boosting of crude oil production, stoppage of oil theft and ramping up of non-oil exports to improve earnings are also top on my priorities,” he added.
“The reset of our education to drive our development agenda, and the restructuring of our socio-economic and political structures will be defining efforts of my administration.
“In addition, diaspora remittances will be given serious attention, particularly now that it has exceeded Nigeria’s earnings from crude oil to shore up our much-needed foreign exchange needs.”