By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Benjamin Nworie in Abakaliki
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has assured the people of Ebonyi State that they will not be marginalised in his government.
The former vice-president gave the assurance at the party’s presidential campaign held at the Pa Oruta Ngele Township Stadium in Abakaliki, Friday where he said that the greatest transformation the people of the state had been enjoying since its creation happened under the PDP government.
Atiku urged the people of Ebonyi not to be deceived, saying that there is no party like PDP.
He stated: “Having said that, I want to use this opportunity to promise you that Ebonyi will never again be marginalised in the federal government. And to the people of the South-east let me tell you I don’t know what will happen in future, but this is your best time. Do you know why I said so, you will have a vice-president from South-east and you’ll have the wife of the vice-president who is also a South-easterner. Which means you have two over three.
“Let me tell you I have been to many states in Nigeria, I have not seen a mobilisation and organisation like this. I want to single out Governor David Umahi, no wonder you are referred to as Mr Construction. I have been travelling round all over the country, this is the only state where they construct road with concrete. It means your roads are going to be a lifetime road, it is only somebody like Umahi that can do that.”
The National Chairman of the party Uche Secondus called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari, from the February 16th general election for allegedly importing foreign mercenaries to influence the elections.
Secondus described as shameful, the incidents in Kano on Thursday during the APC presidential campaign where governors and other mercenaries from neighbouring countries especially Niger Republic attended the rally and openly campaigned for the president.
He said such actions showed that the APC intends to import more foreign nationals into the country to influence the elections and called on INEC to disqualify the party from the elections.
He said a vote for Atiku Abubakar is a vote for freedom from poverty, hunger and insecurity.
According to him, “Atiku will rescue Nigerian from poverty, hunger and mass killing. The Governor, David Umahi, is the best governor and I know that you are going to vote for him again.
“Let me warn INEC that what we witnessed yesterday is the worst that we have seen in the country where people from other countries like Niger and Chad came to influence the election in Nigeria.
“We ask INEC to disqualify Buhari for bringing in machineries to influence the election. INEC better be warned that you cannot rig this election. We have already won this election. Atiku believes in the youths and women, that is why they are always trouping out massively to welcome him anywhere we have gone.”
Also, the Director General of the campaign and the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Saraki, urged the teeming supporters to vote for Atiku because he has the wherewithal to attract investment to the country.
According to him, “Ebonyi is a goal, Atiku is a goal. Today we have come here, we have seen, you have showed us that Ebonyi is the capital of PDP. From what you have done today, there are people who now know that the next president is Atiku Abubakar. Some people thought they could get some vote here, but Ebonyi is for PDP.”
Saraki stressed that the only way to end hunger, unemployment, insecurity is by voting Atiku, noting that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) does not know how to create jobs.
He said: “You need a man that understands how to create jobs. This man was in private and public sector, he knows how to create jobs and that man is Atiku Abubakar. Vote for a man that can talk to anybody and bring investment into Nigeria. That man is Atiku Abubakar, he is ready, so let’s vote for Atiku. “
Earlier, the Governor of Ebonyi State Dave Umahi, assured the leadership of the party that the state is a PDP state and assured the party that the people of the state would cast their vote for Atiku.
He stated: “We have never have another party in the state and PDP in the state has performed. So, we want to assure you that by the reason of what God has started in Ebonyi State, we will massively vote PDP. Ebonyi State will vote for Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, Ebonyi State will vote for all the National Assembly members, they will vote for me and all House of Assembly members.
“Let me ask mischief makers, those who are doubting the authenticity of Ebonyi State as the headquarters of PDP in the country, they should go and deliver their state. They should leave us alone. This is the highest mobilisation of PDP so far throughout the nation. So, let it not be ‘monkey dey work, baboon dey chop’. We are PDP. Mischief makers should go and deliver their states. Our state is intact. And it is intact for PDP.”