Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Ahead of the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at least 41 political groups across political party lines in Cross River State have coalesced and revived the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Movement (PDM) towards the possible realisation of the Presidential ambition of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The PDM was founded in the Third Republic by political icon, Shehu Musa Yarâ€™Adua, with a view to achieving his ambition of becoming the countryâ€™s president, but he died without realising the ambition before the advent of the 4th Republic in 1999.
Following the demise of Yarâ€™Adua, the leadership of the PDM fell on the shoulders of Atiku, and it is generally believed that the group played a very significant role in the latterâ€™s emergence as the nationâ€™s vice president in 1999, having been nominated earlier as the vice presidential candidate of the PDP to General Olusegun Obasanjo, ahead of the 1999 presidential election.
Rising from a meeting of representatives of the various groups that make up the PDM in the state, their spokesman, Dr. Domcklaimz Enamhe, told journalists yesterday that the PDM has been revived in the state as a movement that is working towards the actualisation of Atikuâ€™s presidential ambition in 2019.
Enamhe said at the moment the numbers that make up the PDM in the state have grown to 41, but there was hope that more groups will join the movement.
â€œToday it is clear that the presidency needs a little drift to where Nigerians will have some succour. Former Vice President Atiku is ready to give us that direction. He has come back to the PDP and the narrative in the party has changed suddenly.â€
â€œIn Cross River State the mother association that has been promoting the Atiku return to the PDP and his presidential aspiration is the Peopleâ€™s Democratic Movement. The PDM is a movement not a party, at a point some members went a formed a party but that party died on its own but the movement remains with many of the same leaders we know.
â€œIn Cross River we still have the likes of Engr. Pius Okpa and today as a speak to you, 41 different groups in Cross River that has been working, first; for Atiku to leave the APC. Second, for Atiku to come back to PDP and third for him the run for presidency in 2019 have agreed to come together to form a common front with PDM as the mother body to see to the actualization of the Presidential ambition of Atiku. He is even more popular among Nigerians than the presidentâ€, Enamhe said.
Enamhe said deliberations at the meeting and the resolutions reached indicate that those who have come together to revive the PDM in the state were very eager to put in their all, from the outset to ensure Atiku becomes the next president of Nigeria.
The groupâ€™s spokesperson said from Atikuâ€™s political antecedents, it was clear that he possesses all that was required to lead Nigeria to greater heights, if given the opportunity to serve in the nationâ€™s highest office.
â€œThe former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abukakar, has shown capacity and capability for the job. He has proved himself in business, and has also proved himself in politics. He has shown his belief in democracy, and he has been tried variously with series of legal cases, and he always come out victorious,â€ Enamhe said.
Also speaking the South-South coordinator of United Atiku Abubakar Support Group for 2019, Chief Godswill Mathew Tom, said Atiku has what was required to emerge as the presidential candidate of the PDP, and proceed to win the presidential election billed for February next year.
â€œWe are happy because we followed him to APC and when he was maltreated, we were disappointed, we left ahead of him back to PDP, and urged him to come over. Today we are happy he is back to PDP, and he remains the potent choice that will get back the presidency for the PDP,â€ Tom said.
Appealing to Nigeria not give in to any form of campaign of calumny against the former vice president, Tom said, â€œThey will not succeed. This is Atikuâ€™s time, and Nigerians will vote him as their next president.â€