Fayose berates FG for closing down Akure airport
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Former Vice President Abubakar Atiku and the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Uche Secondus, as well as governors on the platform of the party thursday urged the electorate to resist any form of rigging in the July 14 governorship election in Ekiti State.
The partyâ€™s leaders also declared readiness to displace the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the presidency in 2019, starting with the state election.
They spoke at the mega rally in Ado-Ekiti where they rallied support for the partyâ€™s candidate, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, for the election.
Olusola was officially presented with the partyâ€™s flag by the PDP national chairman at a rally held at Ojumose area of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Atiku, a presidential aspirant, said the PDP is on a mission to rescue Nigeria from insecurity and other challenges confronting it.
Bigwigs at the event included former Caretaker Chairman of the party and ex-Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi; former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; former Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule
Lamido; former Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, and Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin.
Other PDP governors who canvassed for votes for Olusola were Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Mr. Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Mr. Daris Ishaku (Taraba), Prof. Ben Ayade (Cross River), Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), who was represented by his deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd), and River State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Drumming support for continuity agenda in Ekiti State, Atiku urged the people of the state to vote for Olusola, who is seeking to succeed his boss, Governor Ayo Fayose, in the July 14 election.
He said: â€œI have known Ekiti State since 1992 and between then and now, every project in this state was built by PDP and it is time to make sure that PDP continues.
â€œPeople must ensure that PDP continues in power because continuity is the key to development. The PDP is on rescue mission to this country.
â€œWe will bring back security, we will revamp our economy, as well as restore good governance in Nigeria. Please stay until your votes are counted.â€
In his contribution, Secondus said: â€œThe PDP is rebranded and repositioned; we are here to rescue Nigeria from insecurity, from collapse and hardship Nigerians are presently going through under the APC government.
â€œMany Nigerians are being killed in Taraba, Benue and Plateau States. How many of our people will you kill before rescue comes? APC and its people are not God.
â€œWe refuse to be intimidated; it is their style to intimidate, thus country is experiencing civil war because of killing, and President Muhammadu Buhari is behind it, APC is behind it, and therefore, PDP will take over.
â€œThey have the plan to arrest our people, our members but we will not be intimidated. The APC is broken already, the broom has scattered. We have the best candidate for this election who will take over from Fayose to continue the development of this state.â€
Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, said Nigerians are tired of APC leadership and are ready to vote out the broom party.
He urged security agencies to allow the conduct of a free, fair and credible election, and ensure that the votes of the electorate count.
Meanwhile, Fayose has accused the APC of planning to the rig the governorship poll, but maintained that the people of the state are ready to resist any attempt to manipulate the poll.
He alleged that the intimidation ahead of the election had started with the alleged closure of the Akure Airport to prevent governors and other party leaders from attending the rally.
Fayose said: â€œIndependent National Electoral Commission (INEC), we know your plan that you want to rig for APC, we will follow you bumper to bumper. We know your preloaded agenda and how you are planning to release ballot papers to APC.
â€œWe knew what you did in Kogi State, we know what you did in Ondo State, we know your plan. Whether APC resort to violence or not, Kolapo Olusola will be declared governor-elect of Ekiti State.
â€œI want to say that over 99 per cent of those who will conduct the election are not from Ekiti State; youth corpers, police, INEC among others are not from here; leave our state alone!
â€œLook at this crowd, look at this young people, if you are living in our state, this is not a hired crowd, we donâ€™t hire crowd here, these are people living in the state.
â€œI want to condemn the federal government for what they have done. Why do you have to close the Akure Airport? That is shameful, that is not patriotic, that is shameful.â€
Speaking after receiving the flag, Olusola said: â€œWe are going to sustain the good legacies of Governor Fayose, and we are going to change the face of Ekiti.
â€œI want you people to be assured of good infrastructure, quality healthcare, enterprise development and tourism. It is a divine agenda, it is a divine mission.â€