From Paul Orude, Bauchi
A large crowd of supporters have gathered at the 15,000-capacity Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi in anticipation of the visit of the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to receive defectors from other political parties ahead.
Atiku, who was received on arrival at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport,
on Wednesday afternoon, is billed to receive the defectors, notably from main rival All Progressive Congress (APC).
The former vice president was in company with his running mate and Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, PDP governors of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri; Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; Darius Ishaku of Taraba State among others, including former governor of Jigawa State Sule Lamido.
The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is not in the contingent, however, as the rift within the party deepens.
The PDP presidential candidate, who was received by the Bauchi governor in the company of PDP heavyweights in the state, including the state party chairman, Hamza Akuyam, and Senator Abdul Ningi, has moved to the palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Adamu, to pay homage to the traditional ruler.
Meanwhile, thousands of supporters both inside and outside the stadium currently await Atiku’s arrival.