The presidential candidate of the National Interest Party (NIP), Eunice Atuejide, has dropped out of the 2019 presidential race to support the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, the 39-year-old lawyer said she’s learned enough to realise that the 2019 presidential election is between Atiku and President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
She said her decision to drop out and support one of the bigger candidates is a manifestation of her commitment “to always put Nigeria first”, noting that President Buhari’s ‘incompetence’ cannot be allowed to continue.
She noted that despite the PDP’s bad leadership in government between 1999 and 2015, Buhari’s APC has done “a much worse job from 2015 to 2019”.
“To my mind, the political party platform is not the real issue nonetheless, it’s either Alhaji Atiku Abubakar under the PDP or President Buhari under the APC this time. I make bold to state unequivocally that I stand with Atiku under the PDP this time,” she said.
While listing her reasons for backing Atiku, Atuejide said the former vice president is not self-interest driven and will put Nigeria first, and can be trusted to deliver on all his realistic campaign promises.
Even though she admitted that Atiku is not perfect, she said he has done more than Buhari has to convince Nigerians that he won’t waste the opportunity of being the nation’s president.
She also praised Atiku’s choice of Peter Obi as his running mate, describing the former Anambra State governor as ‘amazing’.
“I believe strongly that a Nigeria led by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will drastically reduce the suffering we have all endured under the President Buhari led maladministration.
“I believe we will come out of the bottom pile of all human development indices, particularly the crown of being the poverty capital of the world.
“I believe there will be respect for human life, less nepotism, tribalism, religious fanaticism, insensitivity and outright disregard for the wishes of the Nigerian people.
“I strongly believe more competent Nigerians will be brought together from different places of origin, religions, creeds, genders, ages, backgrounds etc. to form the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar led government.
“And I believe he would select that government to include the best Nigerians from every corner of the country,” she added.
Atuejide’s NIP was one of the dozens of parties that formed the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) in 2018 with the goal of presenting a consensus candidate to contest against Buhari and create a unity government. The coalition later adopted Atiku as its candidate after he won the PDP’s presidential ticket.