The Spokesperson of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, on Monday night, said Nigerians should see the absence of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, four other governors and some members of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party at the official launch of PDP’s presidential campaign in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, as a warning signal.
This is even as the Minister of State for Labour and Employment disclosed that he found the presence of the embattled National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, on the podium promising the PDP will change the fortune of the country a huge joke.
Keyamo made the statement in a release issued on Monday night.
The PUNCH reported that governors, ex-governors, and top chieftains of the PDP in the camp of the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, had arrived in Uyo in no fewer than 15 private and chartered jets for the formal inauguration of the party’s campaign ahead of the 2023 poll.
Asides from Wike and his counterparts in Oyo State (Seyi Makinde), Benue State (Samuel Ortom), Abia State (Ikpeazu Okezie), and Enugu State (Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi), other governors elected on the platform of the party were present at the event.
Members of the PDP Board of Trustees, led by a former senate president, Chief Adolphus Wabara, were also present at the venue.
But Keyamo believed the launch of the presidential campaign was a disaster waiting to happen, saying the opposition party had continued to treat the Nigerian public with disdain and disrespect.
He said, “When you have a flag-off campaign that is shunned by the national vice-chairmen of the South-South, South-West, and five sitting governors out of thirteen, that is a definitive and resounding red-flag that Nigerians should not vote the presidential candidate of the PDP in this coming election.
“If the people’s representatives at the state levels are so unanimously against their party’s candidate that they would shun his campaign launch, then indeed, we would say to Nigerians, A word is enough for the wise.
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“If not the loss of the sense of shame, what else could have goaded PDP’s now discredited “sit tight” National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to be audacious enough to stand on a podium today in Uyo and make any promise to Nigerians?
“Has he been able to fulfill the promise he made to himself and his party members to step down from office should a northerner emerge as the presidential candidate at their party primaries?
“How can a party that cannot unite itself promise to unite Nigeria? How can a party that brazenly violates its own constitution on zoning be trusted to obey the constitution of Nigeria if again trusted with power?
“Fortunately, to the benefit of Nigerians, there remains a few good men within PDP. These honourable men belonging to the party’s NWC, deemed it right to return hundreds of millions of Naira allegedly transferred into their individual bank accounts as “hush money” to suppress the investigation of the scandal of humongous financial misappropriation leveled against their national chairman.
“Not much should, therefore, be expected from such a gathering. With the obvious inability of its presidential candidate to assuage frayed nerves of disaffected persons within their ranks, how will it be possible for such a person to unite people within such a diverse landscape as Nigeria? You definitely cannot give what you don’t have.
“The PDP and its self-conceited leadership failed woefully to put its house in order before hitting the streets to ask for the votes of Nigerians and, ironically, telling Nigerians they are on a rescue mission.
“Till date, their national secretariat remains uncompleted, whilst the APC, in its relatively shorter existence, now has a permanent headquarters.
“Our democracy is young. This Fourth Republic is barely 24 years old. But then, a 24 years old man would be said to be coming of age. At this time, Nigerians are no longer interested in a trial-and-error leadership.
“Those who have not been proven to be ‘good enough’ leaders should have no access to our highest office. If nothing else speaks to the disaster an Abubakar Atiku presidency will be, this crisis within the PDP does so eloquently.”