By Mumini Abdulkareem
Bode-Saadu, the headquarters of Moro local government area on Tuesday witnessed a massive turnout of party faithful who stormed the official campaign flag-off of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The event which was held at the premises of Pilot Junior secondary school, attracted party members, supporters and leaders from within and outside the state.
Although initially scheduled to start by 11am, the event officially commenced around 3pm, shortly after the arrival of the Senate President and national leader of the party, Dr Bukola Saraki who was ushered into the venue with shout of sai Bukky, sai Saraki.
It was gathered that people started trouping the venue as early as 8am in various party souvenirs and paraphernalia of different candidates of the PDP for the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senatorial contest.
Political groups and associations from the sixteen local government areas hoisted the photographs of their candidates on placards amidst singing and dancing. While members of the Kwara State Council of Art and Culture were on ground to keep the audience entertained, there were rich cultural and masquerade displays by the local indigenes especially from Kwara North.
Local and contemporary musicians from all parts of the state trilled the audience in both local and English lyrics. It was an event that had all the trappings and razzmatazz of a political rally and security men from the police, civil defense and army had hectic time controlling the crowd.
It was an event that pointed to the reality that despite recent development in the state, the PDP is still the party to beat and hold the ace in the state as far as the 2019 ecelction was concerned.
Beginning from the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, there was hardly any member of the PDP in the state that was not present during the event. The other attendees included Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Speaker Ali Ahmad, PDP governorship candidate, Hon Razak Atunwa, all the National Assembly members and candidates including Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, Hon Zakari Muhammed, Hon Wahab Issa, Razaq Lawal and Dare Bankole and all the twenty four House of Assembly candidates of the party, serving State Assembly members and Commissioners, Senior Special Advisers and Special Advisers. Others include all local government chairmen, party and ward chairmen, councilors and other party elders and leaders across the state.
In his remark, Saraki who later changed his white Agbada attire and blue cap to done the party’s white, red and green shirt, said Kwara has demonstrated that they have rejected the opposition and those who are planning to enslave the state to the hands of foreign politicians who have nothing to offer the people of the state. He charged the party members to commence house-to-house campaigns to swell the fold of the party to produce a landslide victory in the coming poll.
“We are to start the journey that will usher in the PDP in Kwara State. Today, without any sentiment, it is clear that we have serious hunger, all over the country and the youth have been disappointed. This cannot continue and we must bring in a new president that will change that.
For us in Kwara State, we will not allow anybody to take us anywhere, Kwara belongs to Kwarans and this election is not about me or Atunwa or Zaraki, it is about this state, what we believe in and our tradition and history which belongs to us and it will stay with us. We should not forget the past and should remember the future. If there is any problem, we will fix it ourselves but we will never succumb ourselves to go anywhere.
“Today we want a new government that will give youth jobs who have a role to play in the incoming government”,
Saraki who also spoke in Yoruba sang some of the party’s popular political songs and called on all the people to reject the APC government under President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said those that left the party did not leave because of the welfare of the people but because of failure to get position and give others the chance to also come on board.
“Don’t let anybody come to threaten you, we have the masses, women and youth and this is where God is and by the grace of God, we shall emerge victorious. Let us vote for all the PDP candidates right from Atiku down to the ladder. Those who said that they want to be governor could not even spend hundred thousand naira on the community health centre in front of their family house and yet they wants to come and be governor. Governor of which state if we may ask. I am not afraid at all because I stand by God and the people of the state”, he added.
Saraki later presented the flag of the party to all the thirty-three candidates contesting for various positions comprising three senatorial, six House of Representatives and twenty- four Houses of Assembly.
Also speaking, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed who spoke in English, Yoruba and Hausa said: “We,ve flagged off our campaign to usher in another PDP government. You can all see hunger, poverty in the last three years of APC government. We want to bring in PDP to change the narrative. We shall usher in PDP government in Nigeria and Kwara.
The state chairman of the PDP, Hon. Kola Shittu said only PDP government will be beneficial to the people of the state and Nigerians in general and charge the people to ensure they collect their PVCs before the election.
“PDP government will provide jobs for our youths. Many people have decamped to PDP because of our leaders sincerity and welfarism programmes,” he added
In his remarks, the party’s gubernatorial candidate, Hon. Razak Atunwa promised to run a government of welfarism if elected as the state’s next governor.
He lamented that “the APC led federal government denied Kwara youths job placements. Our government shall provide jobs for them. Women will be empowered.
In his opening remarks, the Director General of PDP campaign council in the state, Prof. Abubakar Suleiman described APC as a deceitful party which does not meant well for the people of Kwara state and thanked Kwarans for their unwavering support for Saraki.
“Kwara election is between the real stakeholders and pretenders and those with territorial expansionist ambition. Kwara belongs to the north and we should not allow them to take the state to the south west. The APC has nothing to offer the state, they only have deception. We should vote for Atiku. Kwara should not vote for ‘ ghosts’ because” we don’t know those parading themselves as gubernatorial candidate now. They have never contributed anything to the development of the state “, he added.