By Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Two presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend stepped up their campaign among party stalwarts and associates across the country.
Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, and a presidential aspirant was endorsed by Yobe and Borno State chapters of the party while his predecessor, Senator David Mark, who is also a presidential aspirant, got the total backing of his old course mates at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA).
The Director-General of Saraki for President Campaign Organisation, Hon. Mohammed Wakil, in a release on Saturday evening disclosed that Borno and Yobe State chapters of PDP have pledged their support for the presidential aspiration of Saraki.
He said the delegates and other stakeholders of the party in the two states made the pledge when a delegation sent by the President of the Senate visited them separately in Maiduguri and Damaturu respectively.
Receiving the delegation in Maiduguri, the Borno State PDP Chairman, Alhaji Usman Ma’aji, who spoke on behalf of other stakeholders, said their support for Saraki is reciprocal to appreciate the confidence reposed in them by the Senate President by appointing one of them as director-general of his campaign organisation.
Ma’aji said: “Saraki has made us stakeholders in this project and we are committed to his victory because with our son as the arrowhead, the victory will be ours and as such we cannot afford to disappoint.
“It is the belief of PDP in Borno that with Saraki at the helm, Nigeria will witness a rapid development and growth because of his dynamism and unparalleled understanding of the art of governance.”
Similarly, PDP delegates and stakeholders in Yobe State said their resolve to support Saraki was informed by his ability to successfully manage the Senate in spite of distractions from his political detractors.
The state Deputy Chairman of the party, Alhaji Adamu Rahama, who represented the party chairman of the state, described Saraki as the “most outstanding among all the PDP aspirants”.
On his part, Senator Mark’s aspiration was boosted on Friday as members of the Alumni Association of the 3rd Regular Course of Nigerian Defence Acedemy (NDA) identified Mark as the stimulus needed to address the security, socio-political and economic challenges facing the nation.
The association rose from its annual general meeting in Abuja with a resolution to support Mark’s ambition, saying that his wealth of experience, both in the military and democratic dispensation, puts him in a better stead to address the ills facing the nation.
Answering questions from newsmen after the meeting, spokesman of the association, Senator Tunde Ogbeha, said: “Senator Mark has informed us of his decision to contest for the presidential election in 2019.
“The association identifies with him and commends his courage for this ambition. He is properly equipped to lead the nation to the promise land. We will support him to ensure that he succeeds.
“In supporting him, we will be guided by democratic tenets and within the ambits of the law.”
According to him, “Mark has the requisite experience and he has the deep knowledge of the Nigerian nation pointing out that he occupies a vantage position to proffer solutions to the myriads of our problem.”
Senator Ogbeha added that Mark stands tall above his competitors in the presidential contest.
He said: “Here is a man who has demonstrated over the years his leadership qualities and competence both in the executive and the legislative arms of government.”