Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, has promised to set aside $10 billion USD to create jobs and boost small and medium-sized businesses in order to help the country’s youth and women gain employment.
Speaking to a crowd at the PDP presidential campaign rally in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Thursday, the former vice president stated that youth unemployment was not unique to Kwara State or the country’s North-Central geopolitical zone.
If elected president in 2023, he promised to address youth unemployment in micro, small, and medium enterprises in order to empower the youth and ensure that they were gainfully employed so that they could live comfortably.
“I want to assure you that the youth unemployment, which is all over the country, is not peculiar to Kwara State or the North-Central zone. “Most of you here are under the age of 30 and most of you here have no jobs or businesses… “I’ve promised that I’ll set aside $10 billion to make sure that youth unemployment is catered for in micro, small and medium enterprises to empower you and to make sure that you are gainfully employed so that you have a decent living,” the PDP presidential candidate said. Atiku also bemoaned the state of insecurity and infrastructure decay in the country, adding that even though Kwara State connects the south and the north, bad roads had hindered growth in the state. Earlier in his speech, the vice presidential candidate of the PDP, Ifeanyi Okowa, said he was happy with what he had seen in Kwara. He said, “The PDP is ready to create employment and won’t allow our children stay eight months without going to school.” He further boasted that, “The PDP will win in all six geo-political zones of the country. We will work with the people and rebuild Nigeria.” Speaking, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyiorcha Ayu, said, “The PDP is one big united family, we are on our way back to victory. The PDP has come back to rescue Nigeria and put it back on development track to rescue all families. “Don’t allow anyone to deceive (you), we are hungrier than we were in 2015. Bring out your voter cards, come out en mass and vote all the PDP candidates, especially Atiku, in the general election.” Ayu later presented the PDP flag to the governorship candidate of the party in Kwara State, Shuaibu Yema. On his part, the former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, asked the party supporters to vote massively for all candidates of the party in the next year election, saying the people can trust him and the party leadership. He said, “I stood and fought for democracy. The APC came and lied to you and now you know the difference. It is time for Nigerians, starting from Kwara, to kick out the APC.” Saraki added, “When the PDP was in power, exchange rate was N200 (to one dollar) and now it is N800. We are all tired.” He further said, “Atiku loves Kwara since the days of my father. Other candidates don’t love you, they merely want to exploit you.” Earlier, the Kwara State PDP chairman had assured the PDP supporters in the state that, “Our incoming president, Atiku Abubakar, would restore security, revive the economy.” The PDP governorship candidate, in his speech, said the people of Kwara were tired of the “APC misrule, which have plunged the country into debt, especially the state, of over N300billion.” In his remarks, the Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, thanked the Kwara PDP for a warm welcome and urged the people to vote massively for Atiku in next year’s election.