A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday met with leaders of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum.
The elders, who comprised members of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, Niger Delta Forum, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, and Middle Belt Forum questioned Abubakar at the Abuja residence of Edwin Clark, leader of PANDEF.
Speaking during the meeting, Abubakar, who is one of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said it was important to interact and exchange views with the socio-cultural, political and business leaders.
He said, “I’m particularly delighted that I am the first aspirant that you are meeting. This will provide me the first opportunity to be able to interact with you representing four zones of our country.
“Like it has been said earlier, Nigeria is beset with many problems. In fact, problems that are so grave, that are likely, if we don’t move fast enough to contain them, to bring about another national crisis, God forbid!
“It is therefore our responsibility both as socio-cultural leaders and political leaders to engage ourselves in meaningful discuss so that together we can resolve the problems confronting this country.
“Particularly, I will like to mention a few key areas where we need to pay attention to: one, is the structure of our country, is it working? Is it what we want? At least, it has been there for a number of decades, may be since the military incursion into our polity in 1966. Is our economy working well? What of other sectors of our public life? Security, are we secure? Is law and order protecting the majority of our people in this country? Of course, we have social sector to contend with.
“We have some problems as far as our educational sector is concerned. Our health care delivery, our infrastructural deficit, name them.
“And I think without interacting and exchanging views and agreeing on how best to resolve these problems with socio-cultural leaders, political leaders or leaders of business community, we won’t be able to solve all these problems.
“So, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to interact with you and identify areas we can confront together and what kind of resolution we are likely to embark on so that we can resolve some of these problems.”