Posted by Sunny Okim, Lagos | 28 December 2018 | 4,554 times
Lucky Futughe is the National Coordinator of Atiku Political Vanguard (APV), a registered frontline support group of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming general elections. In this exclusive interview with News Express, the University of Benin Geology graduate-turned businessman speaks of the readiness of his group to secure victory for their principal at the polls.
News Express: What prompted you to form APV?
Lucky Futughe: APV was borne out of the quest for a better Nigeria because, at the moment, things are not working in the country.
How feasible do you think the objective of the APV, which is, of course, the victory of Atiku/Obi at the 2019 polls, would be realised?
The group has achieved a lot by setting up political structures across the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. As we speak, we have over 12,000 EXCO members within and outside the country inaugurated for mass mobilisation for Atiku/Obi.
What strategies do you have in place to actualise your objective?
We are applying the ‘mosquito campaign strategy’ enhancing it with technology. We are adopting aggressive grassroots campaigns which entails neighbor to neighbor, street to street, market to market, campus to campus, joint to joint, office to office, and so on. We keep preaching the message of getting Nigeria to work again through these channels. And the message is fast sinking.
But many people believe that your principal is part and parcel of the old order which allegedly plunged the country into the adverse situation it finds itself today. What difference will it make if he is elected president?
It is not true. In fact it was under his watch as chairman of the National Economic Team that Nigeria witnessed economic boom, paid off its debts, reformed the telecommunication and banking sectors and achieved many other milestones in the country. He, as the Vice President then, personally put together the best brains, some locally and some from abroad, to manage the nation’s economy. Compare that time and what you have now. So when he becomes the President next year, Atiku would bring with him experience, political will, depth, contacts, unity, knowledge and all that, to governance.
Atiku has come up with some electioneering campaign promises which sound lofty. What is the guarantee that if elected President, he will fulfill those promises?
Unlike the APC (ruling All Progressives Congress), Atiku’s campaign promises are well thought-out. They are structured documents drafted to constantly remind him of the social contract he owes Nigerians if voted into office. And I’m convinced that my principal, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will keep to his campaign promises.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently refused to sign the amended Electoral Bill into law. What is your opinion on this and what is your advice to the National Assembly regarding this?
The failure to sign the amended Electoral Bill into law is a sign of fear and unwillingness to conduct free, fair and credible polls. If the National Assembly can muster the numbers, they should veto the amended electoral bill.
What have you put in place to ensure that the votes from your members count at every ward?
As it stands, we shall vote and defend our votes. If they mobilise 50 security agents to rig the elections for them, we shall mobilise 5,000 youths to resist their rigging machinery. It will be fire for fire and we are fully prepared. If they want peace, they must not even contemplate rigging. That’s the time to test the popularity of the candidates. They must allow the people to decide who they want as their leaders in the next dispensation. If they want to use their so-called federal might, we will resist them to the very last soul. GEJ (former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan) failed with his federal might, Buhari will not be different. He will massively fail in 2019.
How many votes do you think APV can garner for Atiku?
APV has mandated all its 12,000 EXCO members to mobilise 10 million new votes for His Excellency Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr Peter Obi.
Is your organisation planning any programme(s) aimed at sensitising the electorate before the elections?
As we speak, all our structures have been activated into the nooks and crannies (of the country) preaching the Atiku message and we are getting tremendous feedback. For instance, in a few days to come, we shall be hitting the Ogbete market in the Coal City of Enugu; Onitsha Market in Anambra State and many other key parts around the country.
APV is on its nationwide mobilisation campaign tour.
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