Ezekwesili’s group declares support for Atiku

The Red Card Movement (RCM), a civil society group founded by Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili has endorsed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar for the February 16 presidential election.

The endorsement was a departure from the group’s initial position under Ezekwesili whereby the RCM issued a Red Card to the PDP and the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ezekwesili resigned from the group to contest the presidential election on the platform of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) but withdrew from the race a few days ago.

At a public declaration in Abuja Thursday, co-chairman of the RCM, Dr Tony Akabuno, said the decision to endorse Atiku was informed by the failure of the APC to fulfill its campaign promises to Nigerians.

Akabuno said the group would mobilise 20 million votes for Atiku to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari as the APC were defeated in the upcoming elections.

The group described the PDP presidential candidate as the “best option” for now, saying however that the RCM will not merge with the PDP.

Akabuno said: “Some co-conveners were of the opinion that we should not get into any arrangement with PDP. These ones suggested a ‘siddon look approach’.

“They appealed to me, as one that is very close to the state champions, to persuade our leaders across the federation to desist from supporting the Atiku/Obi ticket.

“But as a pragmatic political strategist and the peoples’ general, I had no choice than to reject the inferior argument of some co-coveners and strongly aligned with our state champions, who are in sync with the grassroots”.

Akubono said the coming election will be a defining moment in the political history of the country, adding Buhari has failed in all his cardinal programmes of improving the economy, provision of adequate security and fighting corruption.

He accused the President of playing politics with the fight against corruption, saying the nation cannot afford to perform experiment with the Presidency.

“This is not about Buhari but about the future of the country. The question is if we want the status quo to remain or if we want a change.

“We the leaders of RCM are not in doubt that the Atiku/Obi ticket is the most efficacious brand that can send Buhari back to Daura.”