Atiku: APC Synonymous with Poverty, Insecurity
Obi: Nigeria Safe in Stingy Man’s Hands
*G-5 govs will soon shut the door of reconciliation, Wike warns PDP
*Kwankwaso pledges to prioritise education, and job creation if elected president
Adedayo Akinwale, John Shiklam, Blessing Ibunge, Ibrahim Oyewale, Lokoja and Fidelis David
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is synonymous with poverty, unemployment, insecurity, lack of development and other negative indices in human development.
Also, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, has declared that Nigeria would be safer in the hands of a stingy man.
Obi’s counterpart in the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, however, said education and job creation would be his priorities if elected president.
This is coming as the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the G-5 governors of the PDP would soon foreclose the possibility of reconciliation.
Wike asked the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, and the presidential candidate, Atiku, to be ready to face repercussions if they fail to yield to the G-5 governors’ demand to cede the party chairmanship to the South.
Atiku said the only way to put an end to all the negative indices that have befallen the country is by voting out APC in the next election and supporting the PDP-led government.
The former vice president stated this yesterday in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, during the presidential rally of the main opposition party, where he also promised the people of Kogi that he would put an end to the nightmare of Ajaokuta Steel Company, while also developing the inland port in the state.
Atiku stressed that the issue of the inland port was not only the issue of Kogi State but the issue of northern Nigeria.
His words: “APC came here to deceive you and you voted for them; you have now seen. You have now seen what APC means; it means poverty, unemployment, insecurity, lack of development and very negative indices in human development brought about in this country by APC, you will not vote for APC again.
“I am very happy with the people of Kogi State for this show of support; show of love; most of the challenges have been enumerated by the previous speakers; One of them is the issue of Ajaokuta. I want to confirm here that if you give us your support and elect a PDP government, the nightmare of Ajaokuta will be a thing of the past. I assure you this and it is a promise I have made on behalf of PDP.
“I also want to promise you that the issue of your inland port is not only a Kogi issue but an issue of Northern Nigeria because, through the development of the port in Kogi, we also will have access to the maritime transportation in this country; so, it is not a Kogi matter; it is our matter for the entire North of the country. I promise you we will implement that programme,” Atiku explained.
He added: “Let me also assure you that if you vote for PDP, there will be no more salary areas in Kogi State because we will support Kogi State to make sure nobody is owed salaries. From what I have seen from Obajana up to Lokoja, it is thousands of young men and women, we will give you jobs, if we don’t give you jobs, we will give you business to do; I promise to set aside 10 billion US dollars to empower our young men and women so that they can live a comfortable life.”
Also speaking, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, described Kogi State as one of the richest states in this country in terms of solid minerals, adding that the country needs a businessman like Atiku who could make policies that would encourage people all over the world to come, exploit, extract and bring wealth to Kogi.
On his part, the Director General of the Campaign and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, said Atiku would ensure the security of lives and property, and also reposition Nigeria for restructuring, and full economic recovery.
Obi: Nigeria Safe in Stingy Man’s Hands
Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the LP, Obi, yesterday said Nigeria would be safer in the hands of a stingy man.
Obi, who was apparently responding to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, who described him as stingy, admitted that he is stingy but prudent in the management of public funds.
Recall that Tinubu had recently lambasted his counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Obi, calling the former vice president ‘Mr. Privatise,’ and Obi ‘Mr. Stingy’.
Obi, while replying to the former Lagos State governor, at the presidential campaign rally held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, admitted his stinginess, saying he would rather be stingy and invest in education, health, economy and other sectors to develop the country.
He said: “They said that I’m stingy; we want stingy people now so that we can keep the money. We want to make sure we use your money to transform the country. I am stingy, but we are not out to steal the nation’s wealth all we want to do is to use the nation’s money for our people and the development of this country.
“This election is coming now – don’t vote for anybody because of the tribe, but vote for someone that will move the country forward. This election is about character and people we can trust. Everybody knows the schools my running mate and I attended. You all know our age, our schools and everything about us.
“When I was the governor in Anambra, everybody knows what I did, all the work I did. When I left the government, I left $150 million, everybody knows this, they know where I live; you can go and verify,” Obi stressed.
According to Obi, ” entire Nigeria is insecure; people are leaving, suffering and hungry. We want to secure and unite Nigeria. We want to move Nigeria from consumption to production. No more schools strikes. We will support small businesses. No Nigerian will leave his or her community because of insecurity. We guarantee you that insecurity will stop. We want to fight corruption. We will make sure that we have electricity”
The former governor noted that the presidency is not a birthright of any of the ethnic groups in the country, stressing that credible, prudent and responsible leaders should be voted to power in 2023
“We don’t want anybody to say that it is my turn; we want to change Nigeria for the better. Our children will be in school; we don’t want people to run out of Nigeria again. We want to structure Nigeria for development. We want to build a better Nigeria, so go out and support us. So, go and pick your PVCs and vote for the Labour Party and make sure that they count the vote. I’m the only governor that left good money in office as far as the history of Anambra State is concerned.
“We will make sure that our security men work in a conducive environment and their families will be okay so that they can protect the citizens very well.”
Also, the vice presidential candidate of the party, Senator Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, while calling on residents of the state to collect their PVCs, noted that he and Obi are the most qualified among the contestants.
Earlier, the Secretary General of the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, and South-west Coordinator of LP Presidential Campaign Council, Sola Ebiseni reiterated that for the interest of equity, unity and fairness, it is the turn of the South-east to produce the next President of Nigeria.
G-5 Governors will Soon Shut Door of Reconciliation, Wike Warns PDP
In another development, Wike has said the G-5 governors of the PDP would soon foreclose the possibility of reconciliation.
Wike and four other governors – Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Samuel Ortom (Benue), who were all elected on the platform of the party, had withdrawn their support for the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku, insisting that the party’s National Chairman, Ayu should relinquish his position to a southerner.
Their demand for Ayu’s resignation was because the PDP presidential candidate and national chairman cannot be from the same region.
In an interview with the BBC Pidgin at the weekend, monitored in Port Harcourt, Wike said the G-5 governors would soon shut their door of reconciliation against the leadership of PDP.
He added that there would be no coming back once the G-5 governors decide on their choice of a presidential candidate.
Wike reiterated that their choice of a presidential candidate would soon be made known to the public, adding that they were not in a hurry to decide on whom to support.
Wike said: “Some people are counting January 4th, 16th. They should calm down. We are all politicians; we have political strategies. I don’t work as an individual. That’s what people don’t understand.
“There are different strategies in going to war. What you see today is not what you see tomorrow. Oh, I laugh at them (PDP) when they say we are in touch with so, so governor.
“The point I am trying to tell you is that PDP should have their opportunity because there will come a time the door will be shut and nothing will happen. If that day comes, if heaven wants to come down, let it come down.
“Nobody should threaten anyone. If we (G-5) take the decision today that we will not support the PDP candidate, we will give reasons why we will not support it and nothing anybody will do about it. They should better be careful,” Wike explained.
Wike also reacted to reports where he was quoted as saying that the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, is presidential material, stressing that his statement did not mean an endorsement of Obi.
“If I tell Obi that he is presidential material, does that mean an endorsement?” Wike queried.
Wike has also told Ayu and Atiku to be ready to face consequences if they fail to yield to the G-5 Governors camp’s demand to cede the party chairmanship to the South.
Wike gave the warning yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Rivers State while reacting to the resignation of former health minister and a member of PDP Board of Trustees, Prof ABC Nwosu from the party, a development he said has vindicated the G-5 governors in their demand for equity, fairness and justice.
Addressing the visiting stakeholders of Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area on the occasion, Wike said, “I have continued to challenge them. What are we fighting for? What I said and will continue to say is that all of us are from this country. Nobody is a second class citizen.
“We agreed that this is how our party will be. Recently Prof. A.B.C Nwosu resigned from the party saying his conscience will not allow him, that the constitution of the party is clear, if you take this, these other people will take that. Why now are we saying that we won’t do it again?
“What the people are saying is look, you have taken this, let these people take that and you are saying you will take all. If you take all, you will also face the repercussions,” Wike explained.
Kwankwaso Pledges to Prioritise Education, Job Creation If Elected President
In another development, the presidential candidate of the NNPP, Kwankwaso has said that education and job creation would be his priorities if elected president.
Kwankwaso stated this yesterday in Kaduna while flagging off his presidential campaign for North-west Zone.
He described the NNPP’s blueprint as the best for Nigeria since it seeks to address the challenges facing the country.
He said if elected, his administration would build at least 500,000 classrooms to address the problem of the over 20 million out-of-school children in the country.
He also promised to stop the payments for WAEC, NECO and JAMB forms as well as the sale of application forms for admission to any tertiary institution in the country.
This, according to him, is to ensure that the children of the less privileged have access to education at all levels.
Kwankwaso said, “Our blueprint is the best for Nigeria. There is no time to enumerate everything because it is a 122-page document.
“But there are some critical areas, especially the area of education where we have decided that we will cancel payments for any form either for WAEC or NECO or JAMB or application to any institution in this country.
“The idea is to allow the sons and daughters of the poor to go to the highest level of education. The son of the poor under our government will reach his maximum potential in this country.
“At the primary level, we are going to build at least 500,000 classrooms for the out-of-school children who are today over 20 million.
“Under our arrangement, we will do whatever it takes to ensure that education is given a priority,” he explained.
He added that being poor should not stop any child from going to school.
The NNPP presidential candidate lamented the increasing rate of drug abuse, especially among the youth, promising that he will create jobs to engage them.
“We will create job opportunities to stop this madness of taking drugs. Our young men and women today, unfortunately, are taking too many drugs and that got to stop. That is what we have done in Kano”, he said.
He added that reformatory centres would be created across the country to rehabilitate drug addicts.
He said: “Those who get themselves involved in drugs, we will take them there to ensure they come out as normal people.”