By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Immediate past President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has declared his intention to contest for the Presidential election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2019.
According to a statement signed by his media aide, Paul Mumeh, Senator Mark picked his Presidential nomination form on Tuesday at the Wadata Plaza, PDP National Secretariat, Abuja.
Senator Mark was President of the Senate for eight uninterrupted years between 2007 and 2015, a period that earned him the sobriquet “Mr. Stability”.
He promised to stanch the intractable security, economic and socio-political challenges threatening the corporality of the country.
Senator Mark also promised to embark on restructuring of the country if given the opportunity, saying “irrespective of our political persuasions, it is incontrovertible that restructuring of the nation is an idea whose time has come.
“I believe it will further strengthen our bond of brotherhood and unity more than ever before, because everyone would have a sense of belonging and live in harmony in any part of Nigeria without any fear of molestation and intimidation.”
If given the opportunity Mark disclosed “our blueprint Tagged 730 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.”
The 730 economic model, he explained as a strategy that will turn the economy around within two years, adding that youth will be the drivers of the process.
“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.
“We will support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) as a matter of priority by providing interest free cooperative loans to produce optimally with appropriate technology which will be the main driver of the economy with attendant huge employment opportunities.”
It will be recalled that in the wake of the gale of defections by PDP faithful to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the latter’s defeat in 2015, Senator Mark promised that he will be the Last Man Standing for the PDP.
Senator Mark had told the nation “I have no reason to jump Ship. I will not leave the PDP. I will be the Last Man Standing for the PDP. The Party gave me the platform to be who I am today.
“I will stay in the PDP to contribute my quota to the rebuilding and restructuring of the party. This is democracy; winners emerge and losers go back to the drawing board to rejuvenate.
“Those drifting to APC now are fair weather friends of the PDP. They are seeking new green areas. When the PDP bounces back, they will seek another return to the PDP.
Handing the Nomination Form to Senator Mark, National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Col. Austin Akobundu (Rtd) praised him for his steadfastness and believe in the party over the years.
Akobundu noted that the party has been reformed, rebranded and earned the trust of all Nigerians.