2019: Atiku’s two-term bid divides PDP

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s supposed plot for two terms in office if elected president appears not have gone down well with some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts.

There was some level of scepticism, especially from the Southeast and Southwest after the former vice-president unveiled his tenure framework in the document tagged People’s Policy”

Instead of planning for a single term of four years, Atiku’s targets have a six-year timeline, fueling speculations that he might be hoping for two terms in office.

According to a PDP governor, the “policy is causing some disquiet because it does not give a ray of hope that power will shift from the North to the South in 2023 if Atiku is elected as the nation’s president in 2019.

“Some of us were expecting a timeline of 2019 to 2023 but the policy plan is mostly made up of a six-year plan.

“The people of the South-East, South-West and South-South want a commitment from Atiku on whether or not he will spend one term in office in order to complete the slot of the North.

“We are suspecting that those who drafted the policy have a hidden agenda of two terms in office for Atiku.”

A member of the National Working Committee of the party said: “I think our candidate is planning for the future for the country. It may not be a matter of second term ambition.

“Atiku has not really been categorical on whether or not he will spend one term in office. So, those raising dust on 2025 policy plan are getting agitated to know where he stands.”

The governor took time to highlight some of the contentious areas which have drawn suspicion on Atiku’s plan.

The document said: “The State’s critical policy priority is to build a broad based, dynamic and competitive economy with a GDP of US$900 billion by 2025

“By 2025, we shall increase the inflow of direct foreign investment to a minimum of 2.5% of our GDP Working towards achieving the lowest corporate income tax rate in Africa.

“Accelerate investment to double our infrastructure stock to approximately 50% of GDP by 2025 and 70% by 2030.

“Achieve a sustained increase in manufacturing output from 9% to 30% of GDP by 2025.

“Reduce the sector’s dependence on imported raw materials. Looking inwards will promote value addition.

“Achieve a diversified production structure with more processing of domestic raw materials.”

On electricity, Atiku said: “Power sector reform will be a critical policy priority. By 2025, Nigeria shall make giant strides in diversifying its sources of power and delivering up to 20,000 MW.”

The document indicated that the same 2025 timeline was assigned to crude oil production.

It said: “Prioritise investment in nameplate capacity and ensure that Nigeria starts to refine 50% of its current crude oil output of 2 million bpd by 2025.

“Privatise all four-outstanding government-owned refineries to competent off-takers with mandates to produce agreed levels of refined output.

“Issue new licences for Greenfield investment in crude oil refining and allied activities.

“Introduce market-friendly fiscal and pricing policies.”

Concerning road development, the policy document gave also a timeline of 2025.

It added: “Develop 5,000km of roads by 2025 through PPPs and community interventions. Develop and rehabilitate the connecting road networks across the geopolitical zones.

“Reduce gradually the rate of unemployment and under-employment to a single digit by 2025.

“Encourage transportation development around the nation’s agricultural and industrial clusters.

“Construct up to 5,000km of modern railways through privatisation, PPPs and public investments.

“Improve existing port efficiency and achieve accelerated development of alternative container ports, especially inland dry ports.”

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