By Bennett Oghifo
Ahead of the grand reception to be hosted today in honour of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar by the Adamawa State Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP and the followership of the party in the North East, Yola the Adamawa State capital is buzzing with expectations.
The former Vice President has been on the road since the beginning of the year on consultations and meetings with leaders and stakeholders of the PDP, broaching his desire to lead Nigeria, come May 29, 2019 and soliciting the support of the broad spectrum of the teeming membership of the party.
In the last few weeks, Atiku’s nationwide tour had taken him to Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Ebonyi, Abia, Borno, Taraba, Sokoto, Kaduna and Adamawa States, among others, in pursuit of this project.
Since the beginning of the week, the three airlines servicing Yola, Arik, Air Peace and Medview, have recorded increased passenger traffic as leaders of the main opposition party, stakeholders, supporters and followers have been streaming into the city.
Early arrivals include former Police Affairs Minister, Adamu Maina Waziri, Senators Abdul Ningi, Ben Murray Bruce, Saidu Umar Kumo, former Minister of Niger Delta, Godsay Orubebe and senatorial aspirant under the platform of the PDP for Cross River North, Blessing Egbara.
Director-General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, APCO and former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, led national leaders of the party, members of the local organising committee, LOC of the grand rally, officers of the campaign on an inspection tour of Ribadu Square, Jimeta, Yola.
On his entourage were legal adviser to Atiku Abubakar Maxwell Gidado, SAN, communications director of the campaign, Mike Omeri, director of groups and associations, Nath Yaduma, spokesman of the campaign, Segun Sowunmi, among others.
Major hotels in Yola, notably: AUN Hotel and Conference Centre; Madugu Rockview Hotel; Shagari Royal Guest House; Yukuben Hotel, Taraba Palms, Gongola Summit Suites, have been fully booked.
The city is brimming with billboards, banners, flexes and posters, welcoming guests to the event and congratulating Atiku on his ‘homecoming.’
The reception, put together to formally receive the former Vice President into the PDP family, following his return to the party late last year, is expected to culminate in his formal declaration to contest for the presidency in the 2019 election.
Dignitaries expected at the grand rally include the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, Members of the National Working Committee of the PDP; Members of the Board of Trustees; Governors of PDP-controlled states, former Governors, Members of the National Assembly, as well as other national and zonal party leaders.