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Voting for PDP Will End Hunger, Insecurity and Unemployment, Atiku Says

Atiku promised to unify and restructure the country, as well as protect all Nigerians.

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, kicked off his campaign on Monday in Uyo, with a declaration that a vote for PDP at the 2023 election signified determination to end Nigeria’s intractable problems of insecurity and underdevelopment.

Atiku promised to unify and restructure the country, as well as protect all Nigerians. He said his administration would create state police to tackle insecurity in every nook and cranny of the country, vowing that he would never disappoint the Nigerian people.

The highpoint of the campaign flag-off attended by thousands of party supporters in the Akwa Ibom State capital was the presentation of PDP flags to candidates contesting various offices by National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu. Ayu extended a hand of friendship to aggrieved members of the party and urged them to come back on board for the collective task of rescuing Nigeria.

The PDP vice presidential candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, acknowledged the country’s current challenges, but vouched for Atiku’s ability to fix them.

Director General of the PDP presidential campaign, Aminu Tambuwal, decried the Muslim-Muslim presidential preference of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as an assault on Nigeria’s federal character principle. The Sokoto State governor accused the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, of sowing seeds of discord in the country.

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, in his own remarks, expressed confidence in PDP’s capacity for victory at the poll, saying the party would deploy technology to win the presidential election next year.

In Minna, a million-man march organised by PDP grounded activities in the Niger State capital, as party faithful engaged in a show of electoral strength. It was an apparent response to the nation-wide marches by supporters of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

Atiku said when PDP handed over government to APC in 2015, it handed over the fastest growing economy, where the value of the naira to the dollar was N187. He lamented that today the exchange rate had gone to nearly N800 to the dollar.

Atiku said the affairs of Nigeria could no longer be left in the hands of the APC. He bemoaned the present situation in the country, where children no longer went to school without fear of being kidnapped by bandits.

He regretted the continued closure of public universities due to what he termed the mismanagement of the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The former vice president pleaded with Nigerians to vote for PDP, saying a vote for the party would bring an end to poverty, hunger, unemployment, and other ills associated with the APC administration.

According to the PDP presidential standard-bearer, “When PDP came to power in 1999, we met Nigeria in a state of poverty, insecurity and lack of education. We lifted Nigeria from the bottom to the top. We became the biggest economy in Africa. We had peace, we had progress. Then, Nigerians said they wanted change and they voted for change in 2015.

“What we have seen is poverty, insecurity, lack of jobs and disunity. Our children are no longer going to school. Today, as we inaugurate the flag-off of the campaign to rescue Nigeria, to rescue Nigeria from hunger, to rescue Nigeria from poverty and bring back the unity we are lacking in this country.

“I want to appeal to all Nigerians to vote for PDP. If you vote for PDP, it will be a vote for prosperity, it will be a vote for unity, it will be a vote for your safety. So, there will be no more hunger and there will be security.”

Okowa said, “I am aware and all of us know that there is a challenge in Nigeria, there is a great problem in the land and we are looking for a rescuer and PDP is coming back to rescue.

“When you want to rescue a people, particularly, in the military, because we are in a war, everything has gotten so bad; you do not go to war with a lieutenant leading, some other parties are presenting lieutenants but PDP is presenting a general.

“In the political field and governance of Nigeria, when you are talking about experience, then Atiku Abubakar is a general. We cannot allow lieutenants to lead because they will lead us to doom.

“We believe that PDP is the only party that is prepared to rescue this nation. After you have rescued the nation, you will also need experience to be able to restore and rebuild.

“We want a nation that is in unity, we want a nation, where people can trust each other. This is what Atiku Abubakar offers to us as a people and as Nigerians. He is one man that is connected across this nation. One man that people are comfortable with in the six geopolitical zones of this nation. He understands Nigeria and we know that he has the capacity and experience to unify us as a people.

“He is one man, who is willing to take the bull by the horn and not to pay lip service. He is one man, who has the capacity to tame the insecurity in this country and I believe that with his experience as Vice President, he will stir the government of this country on the right path again.

“The presidential candidate of PDP, has recognised that when we have stronger states and stronger local government that is more functional with more capacity, then, we can develop together. That is very key and he has promised to do that. He is the only one that promised that he is going to ensure that we have state police. So, I want you to come out and vote because that is the way out of this present government.”

Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, urged Nigerians to spot the difference between the records of PDP and APC. Emmanuel said in 2015, when PDP handed over to APC, it handed a booming economy and a unified country, but lamented that the reverse was the case now.

According to Emmanuel, “The economy has collapsed, there is insecurity everywhere, there is hunger, there is unemployment and schools are closed.”

He said PDP was Kicking off “hope for Nigerians”, adding that the campaign would be anchored on what the major opposition party would do for Nigerians if elected in 2023.

Ayu appealed to aggrieved members of the party to forget their grievances and come on board for the sake of rescuing Nigeria.

The PDP national chairman stated, “The PDP train has started moving and we have left the station, but we are moving slowly so that those who are yet on board will join us on the train. It is important for us as leaders. Nigeria is not interested in our personal quarrels, Nigeria is waiting for us to come and rescue them from what is worrying them.

“The PDP knows what is worrying Nigerians, Nigerians are hungry, Nigerians are suffering from all sorts of sicknesses, Nigerians cannot move from one point to another without worries, Nigerians cannot sleep because of insecurity, Nigerians are getting more and more divided, Nigerians are complaining and are hoping that what we did for them in the last 16 years, we will come back and do it for them again.

“Let us all join hands together, because we have the solution. Already, we have penned down the covenant with Nigerians, we will restore the economy to its glory. Nigerians will be happy; all young people will get jobs, the economy will grow, there will be more industries.

“Every PDP governor has performed well, therefore, when we get to power from state Houses of Assembly to the governors, the National Assembly we need all of them to support our president, who is coming to power next year to redeem Nigerians, therefore, we don’t have much to say today but want to thank you all for trooping in large numbers to have faith in us and PDP will not disappoint you.”

Ayu later handed over the PDP flag to Atiku.

Tambuwal appealed to Nigerians to vote PDP, as there was no need for any candidate, who would do on the job training. He described Atiku and Okowa as tested and experienced politicians and administrators.

Tambuwal appealed to Nigerians to vote PDP, as the APC presidential ticket was against the federal character. He accused Tinubu and Shettima of sowing seeds of discords in the country.

The Sokoto State governor said, “Today is a very historic day in the history of this country of ours as we present the most competent of all of us that are running for the presidency of this country as at today, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The ticket of Atiku/Okowa has recognised the plurality and capacity of Nigeria and has respected our character as a nation and our party is presenting forth this two great Nigerians that have the capacity, the character, and the competence to move the country forward.

“Our party is on a mission to rescue Nigeria and to restore its values and I believe the other party, their candidature is not only against the federal character but against the constitution of Nigeria, because it doesn’t reflect the federal character of Nigeria. From day one, they are planning to plant a seed of discord in this country and we must not allow that to happen.

“We have a balanced ticket; we have a ticket that can rescue Nigeria through its current situation and I appeal to all of you men and women of goodwill to join this train of Atiku/Okowa to rescue, reset and restore Nigeria.”

Those present at the event also included former senate presidents, David Mark, Bukola Saraki, and Anyim Pius Anyim. In attendance also were several former governors and former ministers.

Governors at the event included Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, and Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State.

But Wike and his allies, including Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, were absent at the event.

Obaseki: PDP’ll Deploy Technology to Win 2023 Presidential Poll

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki said PDP would win the 2023 elections using technology. He said the waters had been tested in Edo and Osun states, where the party leveraged technology to ensure victory in the governorship elections.

Obaseki, who convened the PDP South-south zonal meeting at the Ibom Hall in Uyo, said the meeting was held to discuss issues affecting the party ahead of the launch of the PDP presidential campaign for the February 23, 2023 election in the South-south.

The governor stated, “This will be a very different election, as we have seen in the past. This zone will make the difference.

“Our election in Edo redefined the face of election in this republic. This will be a technical election, as we used technology to win our election in Edo State. We repeated the same in Osun State and now can tell how elections are being run with the new Electoral Act. In this zone, we have the skills and knowledge in supporting one another in running and winning elections. Election is not won on election day but a battle for election at the polling unit level.

Former Edo State governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, who spoke on behalf of former PDP governors, urged the party stakeholders at the meeting to work hard to ensure the victory of PDP at the 2023 presidential election.

Former governor of Cross River State and Deputy Director-General, campaign operations, PDP presidential election campaign council, Liyel Imoke said, “The PDP is in Akwa-Ibom State and the South-south zone to make a statement as we kick off the campaign from this zone.”

Niger PDP Grounds Minna With One Million-Man March

Meanwhile, the PDP on Monrday, sent jitters down the spine of the ruling APC in Niger State, as its one million-man march grounded Minna, the state capital.

The crowd of party supporters, in a show of strength, trooped out in their numbers, disrupting vehicular and human movements for several hours.

Those that could not march from the Minna city gate to the city centre, a distance of about five kilometres, were seen in open-air vehicles and motorcycles, chanting party slogans, singing and dancing. Some of them displayed posters showing the pictures of the Atiku/Okowa presidential ticket and the Kantigi /Gwamna governorship team

The group also included married and nursing mothers.

The march was organised by 52 groups within the party loyal to the governorship aspirations of the PDP candidate for the 2023 governorship election, Isah Liman Kantigi.

Prominent among those that took part in the rally were the state chairman of PDP, Alhaji Tanko Beji, leaders of the party in the three senatorial zones, and youths from all over the state.

Addressing the crowd, the deputy governorship candidate, Samuel Gomna, who spoke on behalf of Kantigi, told the youths that the PDP administration in the state come 2023, would continue the free education policy at both primary and secondary school levels it introduced before it was stopped by the present APC administration.

He assured that the payment of NECO and WAEC registration fees for both indigenes and non-indigenous students, which the present administration could not sustain, would be restored if voted into power.

Beji, while thanking the youths for the peaceful walk devoid of any violence, urged them to make sure they obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) before the general election, adding, “The solidarity walk is very important but your vote is very key to the success of the party.”

Chuks Okocha in Abuja, Okon Bassey in Uyo and Laleye Dipo in Minna

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