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Chants of ‘Atiku, Atiku’ as Makinde Launches Second Term Campaign

However, Rivers Governor Wike finally approved Atiku’s campaign rally in the state.

The five aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, referred to as G-5, were day greeted with surprise in Ibadan during the official launch of Governor Seyi Makinde’s second term bid, as shouts of the party’s presidential candidate’s name, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, rent the air, to the embarrassment of the governors, including Makinde.
The governors had fallen out with their party’s leadership over the outcome of the presidential primary that produced Atiku. Thus, his name was, obviously, the last thing they wanted to hear among their supporters at Thursday’s rally.
But when supporters were asked to vote other candidates of the party, to the exclusion of the former vice president, the crowd at Mapo Hall, Ibadan, venue of the rally, reacted swiftly in open resistance. The deafening cries of “Atiku” was a major blow to the G-5, comprising Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Makinde, and Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
However, contrary to the widely held belief that the five governors were working against the main opposition party, Ortom, yesterday, said the group was still committed to the party. He said they were working round the clock to ensure that PDP won all elections in their respective states.
In Abia State, PDP supporters in Ikpeazu’s hometown, affirmed their backing for Atiku, in yet another humiliation for the dissenting governors.
But in Rivers State, Wike, finally, approved Atiku’s campaign in the state after an initial resistance.
The G-5 governors, who were all in attendance, in their separate remarks at the re-election campaign tagged, “Omituntun 2.0: Sustainable Development,” kept mum on the candidate to support in the forthcoming presidential election.
The Ibadan rally was well attended by party members from within and outside the state, hundreds of thousands of citizens, however
In his speech at the rally, Wike, who is the leader of the G-5, said, “Vote for Seyi, vote for the House of Representatives, vote for the House of Assembly. The other one, Seyi, would talk to you. No be so?”
But in response, the crowd started shouting, “Atiku, Atiku, Atiku…”
Even when Makinde mounted the podium and tried to douse the strong opposition chants by shouting “PDP”, the response from the crowd was “Atiku, Atiku, Atiku…”
However, Ortom said the G5 governors and other members of the party working with them in the integrity group were “committed members of the PDP in their various states” and would work to ensure that candidates of the party in their states were elected in the forthcoming polls.
The Benue State governor stressed that the problem of PDP at the national level was being prolonged by the failure of the party’s leadership to deploy its internal conflict resolution mechanism to settle issues that arose after the national convention.
Ortom was full of praises for Makinde’s commitment to the development of Oyo State. He expressed optimism that the people of the state would return him for a second term.
He thanked the people of Oyo State for their support for PDP and Makinde, pointing out that their massive turnout at the campaign flag-off was an indication that the election in March was a done deal for the party.
Ortom said the G5 governors’ decision on the presidential candidate to support would be made public “at the appropriate time”. He declared that apart from the presidential election, the G5 governors would work for all PDP candidates in the 2023 general election.
The Benue State governor stated, “We have challenges with our national leadership. They have failed to resolve the internal crisis in the party arising from the party’s national convention. We shall make our resolve on this known at the appropriate time.”
Ortom asked the people of Oyo State to compensate Makinde with their votes for his good performance in the past three years and seven months by reelecting him in the March 11 election.
Wike, on his part, said the people of Oyo State should await the directive of Makinde on who they should vote for in the February 25 presidential election. He said as far as he was concerned, there was no other political party in Oyo State apart from PDP.
The Rivers State governor said the only way for the people of the state to appreciate Makinde was to vote for him.
Makinde, in his remarks, appreciated the people and party faithful for entrusting the destiny of the state to him. He assured that more development projects and programmes will be witnessed in the state if he was reelected for another term of four years.
Makinde said he jerked up the state’s internally generated revenue from about N1.7 billion to N3.8 billion as at November last year. He promised to do more for Oyo State and its people if reelected, saying he has fulfilled all his campaign promises in his first term.
He stated, “In my first term, I promised you the following on agenda Omituntun 1.0 known as accelerated development: economic prosperity, education, improved infrastructure (Awotan, Akobo, Moniya/Ijaye Road), GSM salary date, safe and secure environment (Amotekun), gainful employment with total fulfillment.
“My second term will be towards total socio-economic upgrade in the state. This is formally known as the Omituntun 2.0, a sustainable development.”

Ikpeazu’s Kinsmen Pledge Support for Atiku

PDP supporters in the hometown of Ikpeazu avowed their support for Atiku.
Earlier, the PDP governorship candidate in Abia State, Professor Uche Ikonne, visited Atiku and pledged loyalty to him.
PDP supporters in Obingwa Local Government Area said they had not only adopted, but also vowed to deliver Atiku in next month’s election.
According to them, party remains supreme in everything, hence, they have no option than to support the party’s standard bearer as party faithful.
In a campaign video, addressing party faithful and stakeholders at Abala Primary School, the chairman of PDP in Obingwa, Seth Agomuo, declared the loyalty and unflinching support of the party members for Atiku. Agomuo said PDP in the council would give their block votes to all the party’s candidates in the different elections.
He explained, “As a party chairman, and a true party man here in Obingwa, I want to clarify something. As far as I’m concerned, and a true party man, candidates have emerged after contested primary elections, such candidates now belong to the party and the party will support them.
“That’s the truth. I’m a true party man. Whether you love the candidate or hate him, that doesn’t matter as long as he emerged from a primary election conducted by the party.
“So, as far as I’m concerned and as far as I’m the PDP chairman in Obingwa, we shall only vote for PDP candidates, from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the Senate, House Representatives, governor, and state House of Assembly.
“We are PDP and that’s our stand. We’re Igbos, but our party comes first before any other thing.”  
The G-5 governors had vowed that Atiku’s presidential bid would not get their full support unless the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu vacated his position for a southerner, to ensure equity in the party hierarchy.

PDP PCC Mocks Tinubu over Kano Rally

The PDP Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) described as “disgraceful, shameful, and embarrassing,” the rally organised for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, in Kano, saying, “After hiring a crowd in Kano, he spoke for less than one minute.”
PDP PCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Senator Dino Melaye, said Tinubu could not address issues confronting the country or utter any policy pronouncement.
“No policy statement or concrete presentation. Please, listen and see if God will forgive those packaging this calamity,” Melaye declared.
He alleged that the APC candidate spoke for less than a minute, “because he has nothing to offer,” explaining that the talks were done by his running mate, Ibrahim Shettima, and the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, while Tinubu took to dancing.

Kano Rally Proves Tinubu Has Nothing to Offer

Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communications to, Phrank Shaibu, on Thursday, noted that after spending so much money to organise a rally in Kano State, Tinubu could not even manage to deliver an inspiring speech to the crowd of supporters that had gathered to hear him speak.
According to him, in a bid to conceal his inability to deliver a coherent speech, the APC candidate said rather than speak, he would dance.
“Today, I have come home to Kano. All I want to do is dance. I want music,” Tinubu was quoted as saying.

“Unfortunately, Tinubu’s dance moves proved to be as uncoordinated as his unintelligible speech. The people and the gods rejected him,” Shaibu added.
This was not the first time Tinubu would be doing this, Shaibu said. In Benin on Thursday, it was a mixture of “bala blu” and concoction as he mumbled, “I will turn the so-called Yahoo Boys to experts in manufacturing and creation of chips and datjfgfdfgxfvvf,”the Atiku’s assistant said.
“Similarly, at the APC rally, which held at the Trade Fair Complex in Minna on December 14, 2022, Tinubu also could not muster the energy to address the crowd that had been waiting for him for over six hours.”
Shaibu added, “On mounting the podium, the APC candidate shouted, ‘Niger Sai Bagode,’ with a brief response from the crowd. Tinubu thereafter left the venue, a situation that made the Master of Ceremony announce the end of the campaign in Niger State.
“The APC campaign council hurriedly put out a statement, claiming that Tinubu’s inability to address the crowd had nothing to do with ill health but he was rather overwhelmed by the crowd. Bollocks.

“At the APC rally in Ebonyi State, where he managed to speak for 20 minutes before a rented crowd, Tinubu spent seven minutes acknowledging governors and chanting, ‘Great Ebonyi, greatest of the greatest’. When it was time for him to deliver his speech proper, his mental deficiency was laid bare when he said ‘electric power is a super highway… they could not even make a down payment for the roasted corn (sic)’, whatever that means.”
Shaibu noted further, “Similarly, at the town hall in Owerri, his weakness was again exposed when he described the town hall as being different from ‘Balabu, Blu blu, Bulaba’. Clearly, these are warning signs, which Nigerians must not ignore as they head to the polls next month.
“If this election were about comedy, then Tinubu would win hands down, as his speeches have become excellent material for Tik Tok, Internet memes, and even stand-up comedians, but, unfortunately, this is serious business.

“With debt and unemployment at an all-time high, Nigeria has been infected by the sickness called APC. Indeed, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was right when he described the APC as ‘stage four cancer’ at the commissioning of the new police headquarters in Rivers State in July 2021.
“Wike himself will also need to pay more attention to his health if he wants to continue to hobnob with the APC against the wishes of his people of Rivers State. Already, the so-called strongman of Rivers politics is appearing emaciated by the day, as he continues to work for the success of a sick and ‘cancerous’ party.
“It’s not only unpatriotic but tendentiously wicked for Wike to enter a deal to promote a candidate whose mental and physical abilities are suspect.
“His inability to sell Tinubu, a man who is yet to explain his role in the celebrated heroin trafficking case that led to the curious forfeiture of $460,000 to the American government, in Rivers State has continued to give him sleepless nights, but there is more pain for Wike in the coming days.
“The loud and repeated chants of ‘Atiku’ at the PDP rally organised by Governor Seyi Makinde in Ibadan, where all the G5 governors were present, should serve as a wakeup call to the rebel governors. The people are clearly not with them.
“For Governor Makinde, it is time to wake up and smell the coffee. Nothing can stand in the way of a moving train.”

Tinubu Tired, Has Nothing to Offer, Says Kano PDP

Director General of Atiku presidential campaign management team in Kano State, Dr. Yunusa Adamu Dangwani, described Tinubu as a tired man, with nothing more to offer Nigerians.
Dangwani spoke on Thursday in Kano, during the inauguration of the campaign council and party caretaker committee of the 44 local government areas of the state chapter of PDP held at the Meena event. He said PDP was the last option that would restore the peace and unity of Nigerians.
Dangwani stated regarding Tinubu, “Their presidential candidate is tired and has nothing to offer, so let him go home and rest. Nigerians will massively vote for the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to restore the country’s hope.
“It is unfortunate that when he came to Kano and saw a hired crowd, the candidate ended up dancing to the crowd because he had nothing to tell them.”
Dangwani said, “So, the people of the Kano State and the entire country have no reason not to vote for the PDP.”
 Deputy National Chairman of PDP (North-west), Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, inaugurated members of the campaign and management team, including the party leadership across the 44 local government areas of the state.
In his acceptance speech, chairman of the campaign council, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, vowed that his committee would do everything possible to ensure the party emerged victorious despite the court case at the appeal court.
Shekarau urged all members of the council to embark on a door-to-door campaign, adding that the party has all it takes to turn around Nigeria and make it a country where ordinary citizens would have a sense of belonging.

Finally, Wike Approves Atiku’s Campaign Rally in Rivers

Wike finally granted approval for Atiku to stage his campaign rally in Rivers State. This was sequel to a letter requesting approval for the use of venue made to the state government by PDP.
There were fears that Atiku and his party might not stage campaign rallies in the state following the stand-off between the state governor and PDP presidential candidate.
Wike had enacted Executive Order 21 in Rivers, which forbade all candidates of political parties from staging campaign rallies in homes and other unauthorised places. Such candidates were also required to apply for approval before embarking on any rally.
But PDP revealed Thursday that it had received approval from the state government for it to stage its presidential campaign rally.
Chairman of Publicity and Communications Committee of Rivers PDP Campaign Council, Ogbonna Nwuke, said the state government had acknowledged the receipt of N95 million in a letter of approval granted by the Commissioner for Education, Professor Chinedum Mmom, in compliance with the precautionary requirement of N5 million per public venue stipulated in Governor’s Executive Order 21.
Quoting the approval letter from Mmom, Nwuke added, “I hereby acknowledge receipt of your deposit of N95, 000,000 into the state government’s account, being the required precautionary deposit for the use of your indicated public schools’ facilities in Rivers State.
“Sequel to your compliance with the directive as contained in our letter dated 6th December 2022, I hereby convey to you my approval of your request for the use of state-owned schools’ facilities as indicated in the annexure to your application.”
Nwuke stressed that before now, they had publicly indicated that as a responsible political party, PDP shall comply with the dictates of Executive Order 21.
“Now that we have received appropriate authorisation, following full compliance with the order, we are prepared to commence open air campaigns in Rivers State,” Nwuke said.