The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, yesterday said his party has a plan to tackle the challenges bedevilling the country, urging all to join hands with him to rescue Nigeria.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Presidential Campaign Council and launching of three books in Abuja, the former vice president said the country is in disarray and is being torn apart by “mutual distrust, ethnic and sectarian strife and we are now more disunited than we have ever been in our history, including even when we fought a civil war.”
According to him, “But all hope is not lost. We have a plan to address these issues and to arrest the drift of our nation. These plans have been laid out in the document titled “My Covenant With Nigerians”.
Atiku however explained that to rescue and rebuild Nigeria, “We must first take over the mantle of leadership from the party that drove us into this mess. To do this, we must all be united in purpose and come together to fight and win all the elections slated for next year.
“Every single person who loves this country, as I do, is needed for the arduous tasks that face us ahead as a nation, and this includes every member of the PDP. And it is my fervent hope and prayer that every man and woman of goodwill will join hands with us to help rescue, rebuild and reposition our beloved country, Nigeria.
“The tasks ahead may appear daunting; they may seem a load too heavy to bear. But, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of generations yet unborn, we must not, even for one minute, shirk in the responsibilities that we have been entrusted with to come together to rebuild this beloved country of ours.”
Contacted for comments, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Felix Morka said, “Well, we will talk next time. I am here for something different.”
PDP remains strong despite doomsayers – Udom
Chairman of the Campaign Council and Governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel assured that as a campaign council they have the seriousness and unity that is required.
“It’s our duty to campaign, to carry and publicise the message on how to rescue and restore the hope of Nigerians and it is for Nigerians to vote and for the Almighty to give victory,” he said.
Apparently referring to the crisis in the party, Udom urged the members of the PDP not to mind the doomsayers.
“I want to assure you that PDP is a solid rock and we know that no matter the wind, it will not move the rock. So, irrespective of the wind that you see around the rock, it will not move the rock. The rock remains as solid as ever.
“This time, there is no sitting in Abuja, everybody will have to work hard and carry the message home. PDP is not an Abuja party; you win from your unit, your ward and not by sitting in Abuja. The campaign council will take the message to the unit,” he said.
On his part, the Director General of the campaign council, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, said the PDP and Atiku is the party to beat in this election.
“It is only for us to work and with God on our side, we shall deliver this victory to our party and to Nigerians. We have the support of Nigerians and we appeal that INEC will conduct a free and fair election, and victory by the grace of God will be guaranteed for PDP,” he said.
Wike, 4 other governors absent
Daily Trust reports that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and members of his camp in the party were conspicuously absent during the inauguration.
It was also observed that former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who was listed on the programme of events as the Distinguished Guest of Honour was absent.
A check by one of the correspondents at the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja, venue of the ceremony showed that four other governors; Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) were absent.
Governors who graced the event included Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), and Ahmadu Fintri (Adamawa).
Three former Senate presidents; Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Anyim Pius Anyim and David Mark were in attendance as well as a former Speaker House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’abba.
Daily Trust reports that the acting National Chairman of the party, Amb. Umar Damagun inaugurated the 600-member campaign council on behalf of the National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu.
NEC member raises alarm over plot to derail Atiku campaign
A member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Chief Chinemerem Madu has raised an alarm over a plot to scuttle the campaign of Atiku.
Addressing journalists at the venue of the inauguration, he alleged that a national vice chairman, whose name he refused to mention was behind the plot.
He said the national vice chairman is approaching and offering members of NEC sums ranging from N25 million to N28 million each to address a damaging press conference with fabrications aimed at derailing the PDP Presidential Campaign.
“Members of the PDP are alerted of furtive moves by a compromised national vice chairman and a couple of members of the NEC to derail our campaign and scuttle the deserving victory of our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar at the 2023 general elections.
“This national vice chairman and his cohorts who confessed to having been heavily bankrolled are approaching and offering members of NEC sums ranging from N25m to N28m each to address a damaging press conference with fabrications aimed at derailing the Presidential Campaign,” he said.
Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, Kwankwaso, 14 others sign peace accord today
The National Peace Committee (NPC) led by a former military head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd) will today in Abuja sign a peace accord with presidential candidates of the 18 registered political parties, as part of measures to ensure the success of the 2023 general elections.
The event coming up at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja would be attended by those strictly invited for the event.
In an invitation letter extended to parties and their candidates, the NPC said they were invited to sign the first peace accord on September 29 at the ICC.
Part of the letter signed by Gen. Abubakar in his capacity as the chairman of the NPC said the peace accord will be signed twice ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“The first signing is scheduled to happen at the start of the campaigns this September and the second in January of 2023, just before the elections.
“The first accord signing is intended to commit political parties, candidates and their spokespersons to conduct their campaigns (both online and offline) in a peaceful manner, devoid of ethnic, religious and hateful rhetoric that will incite violence and further aggravate the growing tension and insecurity in the nation.
“These interventions are to complement ongoing peace initiatives aimed at promoting a violence-free and inclusive electioneering process before, during and after the declaration of the final election results,” the letter reads in parts.
The National Peace Committee (NPC), which has Rev Attah Barkindo, Head of the Secretariat, also has the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Mathew Hassan Kukah the Secretary.”