On his part, Duke dumped his 20-year membership of the PDP to pick the N1 million SDP Expression of Interest Form at his new party’s national secretariat
Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Immediate past Senate President, David Mark and former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, have declared their ambition to rule Nigeria in 2019; on the platforms of the People’s Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), respectively.
Senator Mark picked his presidential nomination form at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja, yesterday.
He was senate president between 2007 and 2015.
Mark has promised to embark on restructuring of the country if given the opportunity.
“If given the opportunity, we will turn the economy of this country around; we will solve these security problems, we will bring Nigerians together. The level of distrust in the government, today, has never been experienced in the history of this country.
“I have a very good military background and have been in politics since 1998. I think I have got the credentials to be able to do what I have promised. Our blueprint tagged 7:30 will address critical areas of our national life. Specifically, we will deal with poverty, unemployment and neglect which have forced some of our young people to undertake the very risky route of going through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea; in their quest for greener pastures in Europe.
“We will concentrate on developing our infrastructure, delivering on affordable housing, roads, rails and power.
“We will focus on education and create a pool of highly trained citizens with excellent IT skills who will be employable as well as create jobs. Obviously, there are priority areas and restructuring is one of them. I think the time has come to restructure this country.”
On the clamour by some stakeholders that the opposition party should come up with a consensus presidential candidate, Mark noted that consensus or not, all the aspirants must admit that only one of them can be the PDP flag-bearer in 2019.
On his part, Duke dumped his 20-year membership of the PDP to pick the N1 million SDP Expression of Interest Form at his new party’s national secretariat in Abuja, yesterday.
The former governor told newsmen that he left the PDP member after the party lost focus.
Duke also questioned the decision of the PDP to zone the presidency to the North.
He said: “I was a member of the PDP but, over the years, we saw the fortunes and the values of the party dwindle.
“When a former president walks out of his party, you know there is something. Over the years, you will see that it lost its values and became a shadow of itself.
“That the PDP is zoning, today, is actually a betrayal of those ideals it started off with because it was a national organisation. Today, in some parts of the country, it is hardly in existence.”
The former governor also lamented the high rate of poverty and unemployment.