Massive turnout for Atiku in Ilorin as PDP flags off North Central presidential campaign

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Country worse on corruption, security under Buhari – Saraki

APC buying PVCs, don’t sell your future – Atiku

Nigerians ‘ll resist connivance of INEC, security operatives to rig election – Secondus

Nigeria needs solution, not complain – Gov Ahmed

46 political parties back Atiku to defeat Buhari

 

By Mumini AbdulKareem and Mike Adeyemi

The flag off of the North Central presidential rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kicked off yesterday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital and witnessed a massive turn out of party stalwarts and supporters across the country.

The event which attracted people from the six North Central states of Kogi, Niger, Nassarawa, Benue, Kwara and Plateau was held under a peaceful atmosphere at the Metropolitan Square, Asa Dam, road, Ilorin.

As early as 7am, party members and organisers started arriving the venue and for the few hours that the event lasted, the seat of government in the state and other notable institutions were practically relocated to the venue.

As expected of ceremony of such magnitude, the build up to the rally had started on Tuesday, with repair works on some of the designated routes in the state by the Kwara State Road Maintenance Agency (KWARTMA). This was also followed by the pasting of posters and erection of billboards in strategic places around the metropolis.

As the Chief Host in his capacity as the Director-General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki breezed into town around 9pm on Tuesday to ensure a hitch free programme.

Although ordinarily billed to start by 10am, the programme officially kicked off around 1pm after about an hour that the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar arrived the state.

While the crowd build up at the venue, the music of Dr Saheed Osupa and Mr Real kept the audience who defiled the scorching sun busy dancing all through.

The roll call of personalities cut across all sectors from within and outside the state from the executive, judiciary, legislature, artisans, transporters, youth and women who filled all the available seats at the venue.

Political groups and associations however used the opportunity to sell their candidates and principals with various banners canvassing for votes.

The arrival of Atiku in company of the Senate President and their entourage around 2pm electrified the venue as chants of Sai Bukky, Sai Atiku rented the air.

In his remarks, the Deputy Director General of the Atiku campaign and former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who spoke in Hausa said the crowd was significant proof that Kwara is a PDP State even as he urged the people to vote en mass for candidates of the party in all elective positions come 2019.

Speaking, the former national chairman of the PDP, Ahmadu Ali said despite all the promises of the APC, what the party succeeded in unleashing to Nigerians was only hunger, adding that the PDP has done wonderfully well in its 16 years in power by bringing political stability which the APC has built on.

The Chairman of the Organising Committee for the rally who doubles as Kwara State PDP Secretary, Alh Rasaq Lawal thanked the people of the state for turning out in large number to honour their illustrious son, Dr Bukola Saraki.

Describing the rally as a huge success, Lawal asked the people of the state to repeat the feat during the 2019 elections by voting massively for all PDP candidates.

Highpoint of the rally was the presentation of flags to the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Kwara, Barr. Razak Atunwa and his counterparts from other North Central states who were all present except Kogi whose governorship election is due later in 2019.

Meanwhile, the PDP zonal rally train heads to Ibadan, South West region on Thursday (Today).

At the palace of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, as part of activities of the flag off, the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus noted that, “the nation is currently suffering from hunger and insecurity. There is need for a competent and well experienced Nigerian to come on board to save us. As we are all aware that Nigeria is in distress and we are in dire need of a well connected leader to rescue us.

“There is no iota of truth in the claims that the crowd that you saw during our visit to Sokoto State were people hired from Niger Republic. They are our genuine supporters and that was a clear indication that people are tired of the current government. We are here to receive your blessings and permission to talk to our people and seek their votes for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr Peter Obi.”

Also speaking, the Senate President thanked the emir for honouring the team and urged him to support the party in prayers always.

The PDP presidential candidate, disclosed that he had known the emir since his days on the bench as a judge while he (Abubakar) was a public servant.

He promised to maintain his aged long closeness with the Ilorin emirate and further chart way forward for the development of the state and nation at large if elected as President in 2019.

In his remarks, the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara State Traditional Council, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, urged the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commissions, (INEC), Prof Mahmud Yakubu, to be an unbiased umpire in the 2019 general elections.

He also advised the judiciary to act independent of all arms of government in order to discharge its roles as the hope of common men in the country.

The Emir however said: “Your ambition is clear, legitimate and you need the protection of God for you to move round the nation for campaigns. Nigeria is so connected and we need to respect each other. I wish you all the best and Allah’s protection, always.”

 


Country worse on corruption, security under Buhari – Saraki

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has called on Nigerians to vote out the President Muhammeadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) even has he said they have failed the people.

Saraki added that the country is worse off today on the issue of corruption and security and called on Nigerians to resist the widespread hunger in the land by voting out the APC, next year.

Saraki said this yesterday, while giving his remarks at the flag off of the North Central Zonal rally held at the Metropolitan Square, Asa Dam road, Ilorin on Wednesday.

According to Saraki, the APC campaigned on three basic issues of security, economy and the fight against corruption but has failed in all three aspects.

He said President Buhari lacked the capacity to find solutions to the present situation in the country and called on the people to vote for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who has what it takes to take the country out of the doldrums.

“When we campaigned here in 2015 while we were in the APC, the party then promised to address the issue of security, then it was only in the North East, but today, it has spread across the North West and North Central regions.

“Today in Nigeria, the country is worse off on the issue of economy and there is hunger everywhere. People are dying of hunger because economy has gone terribly bad. Nigeria is today, world’s poverty capital. We need a president that will fix the economy, create jobs and unite Nigerians.

“According to statistics by international agencies, the country has dropped 12 places down the ladder on the fight against corruption. They have been there for three years and have shown they lack the capacity to do it. This is the time for us to unite all sections of the county and fix the economy.

“That is why we are asking you to vote for our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar because he has the capacity to unite the country along these fault lines and get the economy working again,” Saraki added.

“This APC government must go because events of the past three years had shown that they don’t have solutions to all these problems. We must vote this government out and elect Atiku as our next president. My people of Kwara and North Central, we must vote out Buhari. Atiku is solution to Nigeria’s problem”, he added.

 


APC buying PVCs, don’t sell your future – Atiku

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has assured Nigerians of job creation and security if elected in 2019 even as he warned Kwarans to be wary of the plot of the All Progressives Congress (APC) card merchants.

Speaking during PDP’s presidential campaign rally in Ilorin, yesterday, the Waziri of Adamawa also promised to deal with the crisis between farmers and herdsmen.

He therefore advised the people not to sell away their future by succumbing to the ploy of the APC to sell their voters cards.

According to Abubakar, “This is what the APC is doing. They are buying PVCs, they will come to you and give you N10, N20, N50 to buy your PVC. They are buying your future. Do you want to sell your future? Don’t sell your PVCs because they are going to use it against you.

“In terms of corruption, Nigeria is worse off today than we were in 2014. In terms of economy, we are the poorest country in the world today. In terms of insecurity, we are most insecure than at any other time in our history. It is time to return Nigeria to PDP, because the best years of this country was when the PDP was governing our country from 1999-2015.

“Today we have listened to the failures of the APC government since 2015 till today. What various speakers told you today are facts? There is nothing they have not promised us, they promised us security, jobs and better economy, they failed. Whatever they promised, they failed. This APC government and Buhari must go.”

Atiku reiterated his commitment to create jobs and opportunities for Nigerians under an atmosphere of unity and security through development of agriculture and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises within the region.

He said “Key on our priority also is the resolution of subsisting issues of insecurity in the region including the farmer-herder conflicts. These we will deal with using improved intelligence, diplomacy, promotion of good neighbourliness – with support from the traditional institutions”.

 


Nigerians ‘ll resist connivance of INEC, security operatives to rig election – Secondus

In his own speech which also echoed Saraki, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus while appreciating the large turnout of the people for the rally noted that Nigerians have been suffering since APC took over power in 2015.

He said, “Look at the genocide in Benue and Plateau states and no arrest was made. APC is a government of propaganda. They can’t fool Nigerians again,” adding that Atiku has the experience in both private and public sectors that can be used positively to lead Nigeria and return it to the path of glory and buoyant economy.

According to him, “Atiku is a man no one can bribe. Buhari has brought doom to Nigeria and the only man that will bring peace to Nigeria is Atiku. Atiku will bring food and security to Nigeria.”

Secondus however urged the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu to stay clear of any act that could put the nation in crisis by attempting to rig the election.

“If you want crisis in Nigeria, manipulate election. If you want peace let the people’s vote counts.

“INEC will only cause crisis in Nigeria if they attempted to rig the 2019 election. The election must be transparent. Nigeria will not allow election rigging again. Nigerians must be the soldiers and policemen on election duty to protect their votes. We have the best candidate who will win.

“One of the APC strategies is to cause crisis and postpone election, so that they can rig as they did in Osun. We will not accept any election postponement. Any attempt to thwart the will of the people would be stoutly resisted.

 


Nigeria needs solution, not complain – Gov Ahmed

The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed has berated the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government for nagging about the state of the nation rather find lasting solution to it.

The governor stated this yesterday while welcoming PDP bigwigs to the state capital at Metropolitan Square, during the North Central presidential flag off.

According to him, Nigeria needs solution not complain; Nigeria needs leader not sectional leaders.

“With the crowd you have seen here today, Kwara is without question a PDP state and we are fully Atikulated. We have done it before, we can do it again, let’s get Nigeria working again.

“For us, the 2019 election is between the PDP, a genuine national party and the other party which is known for its divisiveness, lack of internal democracy, impunity and retrogression.  Nigerians needs solution to all these, Nigeria needs Atiku”, he said.

 


46 political parties back Atiku to defeat Buhari

Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), have formally adopted former vice president, Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate in the 2019 election.

Chairman of the coalition and a former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said this yesterday in Abuja at the opening of a meeting of the national chairmen of the parties involved.

He recalled that the coalition at the inauguration of its steering committee was saddled with the responsibility of selecting a joint presidential candidate for the coalition.

“In furtherance of this objective, therefore, the steering committee invited all political parties in the coalition to forward to us memoranda detailing their suggested ideas on how the candidate of the coalition should emerge and the criteria to use.

“The response was very impressive and rich. The steering committee, which as you all know, has every coalition party represented in it, distilled the suggestions, the aggregate of which was used to arrive at the result,” he said.

He listed the criteria used in the selection process as national acceptability of candidate and party, strength of the structure of candidate and party across the country; competitiveness of the candidate’s party as against the APC candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari and financial strength of candidate and party.

CUPP comprises the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and 45 other opposition parties.

BEHIND THE SCENE

Oganija’s unique headgear: For the Woman Leader of the PDPD in the state, Hajia Ramat Oganija, the occasion provided the opportunity to showcase her fashion sense with her outstanding head gear designed in the PDP colours that was a centre of attraction while the event lasted.

Bahago and his penchant for marathon greetings: From the time he arrived the venue, the House of Representative member for Edu/Patigi/Moro, Hon Ahman Pategi was everywhere. Bahago as he is fondly called greeted everybody he met on ground when he arrived moving from one seat to the other and going up and down the staircase. Although this appeared a rarity among many politicians, it is however amazing how Bahago find it very easy.

Senator Dino Melaye’s razzmatazz: For the audience that gathered at the Metropolitan Square, Senator Dino Melaye was everything in one. At the podium, he was the musician, the Master of Ceremony, the dancer and composer of many taunting songs against the opposition to the cheering applause of the audience. Many of the guests kept asking where to situate him in the whole scenario.

Again, Saraki carried a baby: The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki continued in a familiar terrain on the issue of carrying babies and children during public function. The trend which started in Ilorin recently when during Saraki’s grand reception on his way to the palace when a woman thrust her baby to him for blessings continued at the recent Ojude Oba festival in Ijebu Ode. But during the rally in Ilorin, Saraki was moved by a little boy who was among the entertainers and eulogising the Senate President that he lifted him up in appreciation.

 REACTIONS

Coast clear for PDP in 2019 – Maja: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has sterling pedigree to get Nigeria back on track. With him as the next President in 2019, Nigeria would take up her place in the comity of nations. For the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, he had long been politically persecuted in the hands of the APC cabals in the Presidency. This is a man who laboured for the sustenance and emergence of the ruling party in 2015 and all he could get in return was a political molestation for almost three out of the four years of this administration. But the coast is clear in the Nigerian political terrain for the PDP in the 2019 election and the party is booming as you can attest today. Victory awaits the party come next year, no doubt about that.

Massive crowd, attestation of Saraki’s popularity – Deputy Speaker: Kwara is one family led by our political leader, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki. The mammoth crowd here today buttress the popularity of the Senate President. Atiku Abubakar no doubt is Nigeria’s next President. He is a technocrat with wealth of experience to move Nigeria out of the present shackles we find ourselves.

PDP next level is Atiku – Hajia Sarat Adebayo: The PDP is on a rescue mission. Nigeria is saying bye-bye to poverty and hunger. Our own next level is original next level which is Atiku. Getting Nigeria to work again is the mantra and duty of the PDP and that is what our leader, Dr. Bukola, Saraki stood for. We are tired of insecurity and economic mess that has polarised the country. We call on all and sundry to vote en mass for the candidates of the PDP.

Kwara is PDP state – Saka Isau (SAN): What you are seeing today is a different ball game from the bye-election. It shows that Kwara is a PDP state and a home to the party. The crowd has spoken. The bye-election episode will not repeat itself because the people are wiser.     

2019 is PDP’s year – Ahman Pategi: Before, Nasarawa used to serve as venue of North Central flag off when most states were in APC. But with the new development, Kwara and Benue are the only two PDP states and with the Senate President, it behoves the party to honour Saraki and there was a wiling governor to welcome the party to Kwara in Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed. Kwara is a PDP state and by the grace of God, we will return all our candidates next year including governors. 2019 will be PDP’s year.

 

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