The flag-off of the Presidential campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the North West zone in the caliphate city of Sokoto on Monday was an exciting moment as political heavyweights of the party led by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took turn to tell the mammoth crowd at the historic event the need to install Atiku Abubakar as a the nation’s President in 2019.
Jonathan said Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Peter Obi, will show Nigeria the way.
“We believe that Northwest this time will show Nigeria the way. From 1999 till date, we have seen four president from Obasanjo, to Umaru Musa Yar’dua, to myself and the current president.
You have seen how the various presidents and the various parties have worked, and one thing that is very clear, PDP is still the number one party.
“There is something that all of us see as human beings, everybody, everyday must eat, and if you cannot eat well, then you are not happy.
PDP is the only party that can make sure that all of us eat very well in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening”, he said
The former president warned Nigerians not make mistakes, adding that if they vote wrongly, their children and grandchildren will not forgive them.
“Today our country has a lot of challenges and we have looked at all the presidential candidates, all of them are good people, we have known them, credible people, but among all, we have seen that it is only Atiku that can deliver.
“If you have a football match, you go with your first eleven, you don’t manage. If you have a wrestling or boxing tournament, you go with your best, you don’t manage.
Atiku is experienced enough, he has demonstrated clearly in his personal life and his business life that he has that capacity to bring this country to one, and make sure that our economy grow so that all of us will have something to eat”, added Jonathan.
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus while addressing jubilant supporters drawn from the seven states of the North West zone, Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna states at Shehu Kangiwa Square, Sokoto, said that President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the people woefully.
The National Chairman said that the PDP has chosen a credible and experienced Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abuabakar and his running mate, Peter Obi, to lead the rescue mission.
“Atiku has what it takes to turn the economy around, create jobs for our teeming youths and unite the country”, he said while he warned that Nigerians have turned their back on the APC and President Buhari as can be seen by the people of Sokoto and the North West states.
Prince Secondus warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies not to undermine this country by attempting to rig the election.
Senate President and Director General of PDP Presidential campaign Council, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said the Northwest has become PDP zone, because there is no security, there is no food, there is hunger in the land.
He told the crowd that “Atiku is the man that can fight insecurity, hunger and unite Nigerians. It is about food, security and we will vote Atiku. He understands it, he knows how to create jobs. He knows how to unite Nigerians. We have tried this, he has failed”.
Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogora said that democracy has offered the former n-PDP members of that defected to APC ahead of time he 2015 polls the opportunity to correct themselves.
“We had speeches dealing with our convictions in 2015 when some of us left PDP to say we wanted to associate with change. So we have a wonderful opportinity to revisit those issues of 2015.
“We will deceive you to say that this election is between Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari. The election is not between them.
The election is about you, women, young people and every Nigerian citizen who is suffering untold hardship today on account of lack of good leadership, so we want to review a lot of things. For instance, “Is your life better now than in 2015?
Is security better now than it was in 2015? Are we more united as Nigerians than we were in 2015? These are the things that are on the ballot paper. It is not a contest between Atiku and Buhari rather it is between APC and all Nigerians,” Dogara said.
Presidential aspirants from the North West zone who contested the Port Harcourt Presidential primary with Atiku took turn to address the gathering in Hausa language.
They were Senator Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso, Tanimu Kabiru Turaki, Attahiru Bafarawa, Ahmed Makarfi and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was the chief host.
The highpoints of the rally was the presentation of the party flag to the Presidential candidate, his running mate and the Sokoto State gubernatorial candidate and the Governor of the state, Aminu Tambuwal.
Meanwhile, the campaign council of the party has declared that the North West acceptance of Atiku shows Nigerians have rejected President Buhari.
Director of Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the acceptance is a clear demonstration that Nigerians, across the board, have reached a consensus to vote Atiku in as the next president of our country.
The campaign council appreciated and commended the courage and show of patriotism by the people of the North- West in rejecting President Buhari and sectional politics to support Atiku Abubakar, in keeping with the collective quest to unify our nation and revamp our ailing economy.
“Atiku Abubakar’s acceptance by the North-West establishes the common feeling among Nigerians that he embodies a practical solution to the myriad of problems brought upon our nation by Muhammadu Buhari’s incompetent, divisive, repressive and insensitive administration.
“The massive reception expresses the confidence of the North-West in Atiku Abubakar’s proven pro-poor stance; his standing affinity with the down-trodden and his demonstrated competence, capacity and political will to revamp our economy,
end starvation, sectional acrimony, human rights abuse and humongous corruption, which the Buhari administration has unleashed on our nation in the last three and half years”, said Ologbondiyan.
The PDP campaign council, therefore, urged the people of the North-West and Nigerians in general, to continue to stand in unity in their resolution to vote for Atiku Abubakar as the next President and free our nation from the clutches of his misrule.