L-R: National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu; Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; Presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and Governor of Akwa-Ibom State, Dr. Udom Emmanuel, during the mega presidential campaign rally of the PDP, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, in Benin City, on Saturday, October 22, 2022
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday said he would reverse the wrong of the ruling All Progressives Congress if elected in 2023.
Abubakar specifically vowed to establish state police that would not be used to harass Nigerians at the local level.
Speaking at the presidential campaign of the PDP at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Edo State, the former vice president said that the creation of state police would help boost security in the country.
Aggrieved governors of the PDP, including Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) did not attend the rally. Also absent were members of the Edo State PDP Legacy Group, a faction loyal to the party’s National Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih.
However Atiku said, “My priority assignment as President is to unify this country. The current APC government has done a lot to destroy the unity of this country and it will be unfortunate to give them another opportunity to continue their bad job. So, I am going to correct that.
“Secondly, we are going to ensure that we provide security and make it possible again for Nigerians to travel across the country without any fear of security breach. We will also ensure that our children receive quality and sustainable education. The PDP did this by enacting the universal basic education law, which gave the rights to our children to have compulsory education.
“Similarly, we shall boost the economy and bring in the private sector to create jobs for the youths; provide infrastructure and restore the confidence of Nigerians in the public sector. Again, we are going to make sure that we devolve more power and responsibilities to the state and local governments and bring the government closer to the people.”
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Speaking on his five-point policy agenda, the PDP candidate told the crowd of supporters at the event the party would strengthen the nation’s educational sector and revive the economy.
“The nation’s universities will not go on strike. I assured you by the Grace of God. I promised you that. Again, we promise to revive the economy of this country. We will do that by making sure that our industries and factories resume production again. We will make sure that there are a lot of jobs for our children that are passing out from our schools. That is what we mean by reviving the economy. We will work together with the private sector to make sure that industries and factories, particularly here in Edo, resume operations so that there will be a lot of jobs for you,” he added.
The vice presidential candidate of the party and Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, urged residents of the Niger Delta region to support Atiku, whose intervention as a vice president he said led to the establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
“The Niger Delta people have for the past seven years been left in limbo by the APC administration because they don’t know the problem facing the people and we are assuring you that as soon as Atiku Abubakar and I are sworn in May 2023, we know where to start again,” Okowa added.
On his part, Governor Godwin Obaseki called on the electorate to throw their weight behind Atiku and Okowa to preserve the legacy of the founding fathers of the state.
Earlier, Atiku paid a courtesy visit to the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, at his palace in Benin City. The monarch wished the presidential candidate of the PDP in his bid to fulfil his campaign promises made to rescue Nigeria.
He added, “Your excellency, we have been following your statements and assurances, we pray to God Almighty and our ancestors that you have good health, and wisdom to bring it to fruition, should you be the chosen one to lead this country. We have you in our prayers, no doubt, and we will keep on praying to God Almighty to select who will lead this country. I do not see reasons why we should doubt any of you.”