Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar will today declare his presidential ambition on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
His declaration is, however, coming against the backdrop of his bid to be endorsed by a Southwest caucus of the party.
A statement by his media office in Abuja said the former Vice President would make his formal declaration at the Shehu Musa Yar?Adua Centre in Abuja at 10am.
According to the statement, the activities marking the declaration would be a largely youth-focused event to emphasise Atiku?s passion for the challenges facing young men and women in the country.
Youth economic empowerment is one of Atiku?s cardinal objectives because he regards them as the fulcrum around which the development and future of the country revolves, the statement noted.
?In particular, the former Vice President is concerned about the alarming youth unemployment and he focuses on his policy objectives on the development of entrepreneurial skills for our youths so that they don?t have to depend entirely on the limited, if not elusive government jobs,? the statement added.
A caucus of the APC in the Southwest has endorsed Atiku as the presidential candidate of the party.
The caucus, known as the Atiku Abubakar Collectives, spoke at an interactive session with Atiku yesterday.
The group, whose members were drawn from the six states of the Southwest and Kogi State, and led by Chief Bode Ajewole, said its endorsement of Atiku was predicated on the former Vice President being the most experienced among the likely contenders for the party?s ticket.
Ajewole said: ?Atiku has shown that he has the capacity to restore the unity, peace and prosperity of our great country.
?At such a time like this when our country is at the threshold of disharmony, fuelled by mutual suspicion along ethnic and religious line, we need a strong leadership. A strong leadership by a bridge-builder; someone who understands the intricate nature of our geo-politics and strengthens the bonds of our unity as a people who share a common hope in a Nigeria for all Nigerians.?
The Director-General of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, Prof. Babalola Borishade, said it was important for supporters of Atiku to engage everyone within the APC and mobilise support for Atiku to emerge as the standard-bearer of the party.
According to him, ?our focus now is how we win the primaries of the party. In doing so, we have to thread very carefully. The strategies for each state are different. I understand that some of you are national delegates of the party. But what is important is to build the momentum in the party that will make our candidate emerge victorious and avoid being confrontational with other contestants.
We should make sure that the party stands united during and after the contest for the presidential ticket.?