Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar yesterday described himself as the “stepping stone” for the Southeast to produce a President.

Atiku premised this on his relationship with the Igbo, including his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, and Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi.

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“I am the stepping stone for an Igbo to become President of Nigeria,” he told Southeast PDP stakeholders in Enugu, Enugu State

“I’ve had a close relationship with the Igbo and this influenced my choices of Senator Ben Obi and Mr. Peter Obi as my running mates in my two previous outings as a presidential candidate. Again, I have chosen another great Igbo here (Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa) for the third time as my running mate,”, he pointed out.

To further buttress his association with the Igbo, he said: “I have three children with Igbo blood flowing in them. I am saying this for the very first time in public. So, my relationship with Ndigbo did not start today.”

Atiku, a former vice president, vowed to prioritise developmental projects in the Southeast and other geo-political zones in the country if elected as Muhammadu Buhari’s successor next year.

He took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration for allegedly segregating some parts of the country with a paucity of projects.

“The second Niger Bridge in Onitsha is not a favour to the Southeast, rather it is or should be seen as a favour to Nigeria. This is because it is not only the people of the Southeast that will use the bridge”. Atiku said.

The presidential hopeful also spoke briefly on his friction with former President Olusegun Obasanjo whom he served as his second in command and the security challenges facing the country.

He also expressed concern over sit-at-home in the Southeast which he said had dealt a big blow to the economy of the zone and called on Igbo elders to speak out against it

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