From Joe Effiong, Uyo
The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said the party would restore unity to the country.
Speaking on Monday in Uyo during the flag-off of his presidential campaigns at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, the former vice president who called on Nigerians to vote for him and the party during the 2023 elections, said the PDP would rescue Nigeria from hunger, poverty, insecurity, lack of jobs and disunity.
Mr Abubakar said he took the launch of the campaigns to Akwa Ibom to celebrate the achievements of the Akwa Ibom PDP, stressing that the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration brought change as they promised in a negative way.
“Nigeria wants to be like Akwa Ibom. You know why, because, since 1999, you have not changed party, but you can see the development that is taking place here in Akwa Ibom. You can see the prosperity that is taking place in Akwa Ibom, you can see the security that is available in Akwa Ibom. So the rest of Nigeria would like to be like Akwa Ibom,” the candidate stated.
“We want to dedicate the launching of this campaign to the achievements of the Akwa Ibom PDP for good governance. When PDP came to power in 1999, we met Nigeria in a state of poverty, insecurity, hunger, 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. But when Nigeria said they wanted to change, 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. Is that what we want to continue?
“So, today, we have inaugurated the flag off of our campaign to rescue Nigeria. To rescue Nigeria from hunger, to rescue Nigeria from poverty, and also to bring back the unity that we require in this country.
“I want to appeal to all Nigerians, I am standing in Akwa Ibom today to ask them to vote for PDP. If you vote for PDP, it would be a return to prosperity, it would be a return to unity, it would be a return to your safety. There would be no more hunger, there would be security.
“I swear, If you vote for PDP, you will not be out of school, you will get jobs, there will be security, there will be unity,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Vice Presidential candidate and Governor of Delta State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa who said he was impressed at the crowd of supporters, tasked Nigerians to take the ongoing mission by the PDP to rescue the country seriously.
Okowa said the problem of Nigeria has been looking for a rescuer, saying the PDP has offered to rescue the country, saying the party was prepared to make Nigeria a nation where people can trust each other.
“This campaign is a very serious business. There is a great problem in Nigeria and we have been looking for a rescuer. PDP has offered to rescue Nigeria. We believe that PDP is the only party prepared to rescue Nigeria. We want a nation where people can once again trust each other, we are ready to take the bull by the horn,” he said.
Speaking, the Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, said the campaign will restore hope and faith in the common dreams of the people.
Emmanuel who said the All Progressives Congress (APC) party has caused the country problems, as poverty has reached misery indices, called on Nigerians to checkmate hardship caused by the APC-led government.
“The campaigns to restore Nigeria, revitalise the gains and growth of our prosperity, even the parts of our unity that have been fractured, and restore hope and faith in our common dreams and aspirations begin today.
“Poverty today has gotten to misery indices. When PDP handed over power, the exchange rate was N186 to a dollar. Today, the exchange rate is almost N800 to a dollar. When PDP handed over power, Nigeria had the largest economy in entire Africa, today, all those indices have been battered.
“Today, we want to flag off the hope for Nigeria, we want to flag off the rescue mission to Nigeria, we want to flag off the restoration mood to Nigeria. We want to tell Nigerians, the ship is beginning to sail today, we want to tell Nigerians, the train is moving today.
On his part, the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu commended the people for their support, saying the crowd showed that the PDP train was more than a party.
“It is important that those who have not joined the PDP train come on board. We know the problem of Nigerians. Nigerians are not interested in our individual problems. Nigerians are hungry and suffering from all kinds of illnesses. Nigerians cannot sleep in peace because of insecurity.
“Let us all join hands together because we have the solutions. We will restore the economy of Nigeria to its glory. You have already witnessed this from all our governors. All our PDP governors have done well and we want all these people to join hands with our incoming president to redeem Nigeria. Nigeria, PDP would not disappoint you,” he stated.
The Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Adolphus Wagbara who spoke on behalf of other members said, “Today is a remarkable day. The entire Nigerians are here. Our Presidential candidate and his vice are the persons to beat. PDP is the only party in today’s Nigeria that is ready to take over power.
“We will have success and there is no doubt about it. We used to say there is no vacancy in Aso Villa, today there is a vacancy, and the only two persons that would occupy it are our presidential candidate and his vice,” he stated.
On his part, the Director General, PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee, Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, said the duo of Atiku and Okowa would rescue Nigeria from its problems.