PDP: Atiku’s Popularity Has Sent Opponents into Panic Mode

•PCC says Nigeria needs healing, declares ex-vp is the balm 

•Wike seeks party’s apology to Nigerians over controversial statement

Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

The Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, yesterday, said the overwhelming acceptance of the party’s presidential candidate, as recorded again at the Kaduna rally, had thrown his opponents into panic mode.

The campaign council, however, claimed Nigeria was bleeding from bad government and governance at the moment and therefore needed Atiku to heal the wounds.

In another development, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has expressed disappointment over statement credited to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and said the PDP leadership must apologise to Nigerians over what he described as controversial statement.

However, one of the spokespersons of the Atiku campaign Organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the opponents, who have now resorted to sending armed thugs to disrupt PDP’s campaign in Kaduna as well as the closure of media organisations in Zamfara State, had displayed their fears over the acceptance of Atiku and his laid out plans for Nigerians ahead of 2023 elections.

According to Ologbondiyan, “It is on record that Atiku Abubakar remained the only candidate, who has taken his message of hope to five (5) out of six (6) geo- political zones and, who has received huge turn-out at every port of call so far.

“Some of the presidential candidates like that of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are yet to compose their campaign organisation in a manner that will enable them to engage constructively with the Atiku campaign and Nigerians.

“It is important for Nigerians to note that the APC and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have nothing to offer other than their records of failures for the past seven (7) years. That accounts for their inability to kickstart their campaigns as well as their resort to campaign of calumny, intimidation and violence.

“The APC Presidential Candidate should know that these shenanigans cannot stop the resolve of the people to vote out the APC and elect the pan-Nigerian and unifier, Atiku Abubakar. Certainly, Nigerians will not support a leader, who wants to turn a rotten situation to a bad one,” he stated.

‘Our Country Needs Healing, Atiku is the Balm

The PDP Presidential Campaign Council, yesterday, said Nigeria was bleeding from bad government and governance and therefore needed the former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, to heal the wounds.

In a statement by one PDP presidential campaign spokesman, Senator Dino Melaye, he said, “Our dear country is hemorrhaging on all sides, ranging from social to political and economic. The level of division and distrust between our political geography, economic climate and the social weather are palpable.

“Our country is, therefore, broken along many fault lines, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, because just as our country needs healing, Atiku is available as the balm.

“There’s a rippling expansion of conflicts. The crisis of confidence between the government and the governed manifests as the current APC administration operates an ideology that fails to provide leadership in crisis, hope in despair, assurance in fear and opportunities in scarcity. 

“This is why Nigeria must severe any umbilical chord that ties it to the APC under any disguise. The party and its operators are set in their ways. They claimed to be harbingers of change, but they have become impervious to change. Like the Bourbons, they have learnt nothing, and have forgotten nothing.”

Melaye said that observers of the Nigerian Political landscape would appreciate that Atiku has stood out as a focused leader, riding the storm of a creative tension with equanimity, temperance and accommodation.

“This is demonstrable leadership. This is the benefit of cognate experience and the gains of reflection, which dictate the appropriate application of attitude to prevailing circumstances.”

Wike: PDP Must Apologise to Nigerians over Atiku’s Statement

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, expressed disappointment over statement credited to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and said the PDP leadership must apologise to Nigerians over what he described as controversial statement.

Atiku was reported to have said at a meeting with northern elders a couple of days ago, that, the north did not need an Igbo or Yoruba person as president but a northerner.

But Wike, while reacting to the development, stressed that such alleged remarks could create disunity among Nigerians at a time, when efforts should be concerted in giving every Nigerian a sense of belonging.

The Rivers governor, who spoke at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, enroute from Spain, expressed his stance against anything that relegates any section of Nigeria and treats them as second fiddle.

Wike, who spoke in company of his team members: Seyi Makinde (Oyo) State, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Samuel Ortom (Benue),  said, “I don’t believe that my candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could make such statement. But assuming he did make that statement, and this is one of the things we have been saying, this country needs to be united and part of the way you unite it is to include everybody.”

He expressed the belief that those handling Atiku should also share in the blame for allowing their principal to make such comment in public, which he noted, could heighten tension and deepen the feeling of alienation among Nigerians.

Wike said since the statement was now in the public domain, the PDP leadership should tender an apology to Nigerians while explaining the circumstances in which the statement was made.

“That has now confirmed to me, one of the reasons why those of them in their camp, do not want Ayu to resign, because they do not want inclusivity. I don’t know how those who are packaging the presidential candidate will allow him to make such statement. I was reading where somebody was saying that it was a direct response to a question he was asked.

“Be that as it may, I don’t think that it was necessary at this time, as people, who are going in for election, as people who want Nigerians to trust them to have allowed such a statement to be made. If it (statement) was made, as they said, I think, as a party, we need to apologise to Nigerians, assuming the (statement) was made.

“People are denying that it was made but if you watch the video, it appears true but people are saying with recent technology, anything can be done. This requires further explanation by our party, because Nigerians, as it is today, we can’t go this way if we want this country to remain as the way our finding fathers struggled, laboured, and toiled all the nights to see that there is a country called Nigeria,” he said.

Wike also took a swipe at the PDP national chairman, Senator Iyorciha Ayu, saying his reaction has vindicated his allegation of the N1billion bribe.

He said going by his responses to the allegations levelled against him (Ayu), he stood indicted except proven otherwise.

“Luckily for me, he (Ayu) has now mentioned that he went to the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri of Adamawa where they discussed on the issues of borrowing. Now, the question is, when you talk about borrowing, who approves borrowing?

“You must go to the National Working Committee (NWC) to say you want to borrow money. I challenge him to bring the records, where NWC approved that the party should go and borrow N1billion. What is the collateral?”

He explained that in matters of funding the party, the governors had been up to that responsibility dutifully and therefore unthinkable that the national chairman would, in the guise of seeking funding for the party, opt to collect loan on behalf of the party without notifying the NWC and governors.

“Be sincere, how can you talk of N1billion loan without the NWC mooting the idea, without the governors knowing? Then you talk about the N100million he said he told the Board of Trustees (BOT).

“If any governor gives you N100million in order to rebuild one of the structures of the party, the democratic institute, let him show the minutes of the NWC, where he said a governor, has contributed N100 million. Let him show the account to reflect this N100 million.

“Let him also say that the N100m was in Naira or in Dollars. He said he gave it to the treasurer. I thought he would have told the world that NWC was aware,” he said.

“In fact, the normal thing is that when once any governor or any party person has donated money to the party, you will go and tell NWC that so and so person has donated money. Let him (Ayu) show us the account where this money was paid into. Coming out to do a general denial is not denial. You (Ayu) must deny specifically to the allegations that were made.”

Wike also described as out of order, the PDP Board of Trustees’ resolution that mandated Ayu to make commitment that he would resign after the 2023 elections.

The governor wondered why the BOT could not make Ayu to fulfil his initial commitment that he would resign if a northerner emerged presidential candidate from the PDP convention.

“To say he should make another commitment that he will resign after the elections, for me, BOT resolution is ridiculous,” Wike added.

Related Articles