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    Atiku escapes death as thugs attack convoy in Borno

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    … Key PDP members absent at campaign rally
     
    By Francis Ekeh Abuja
     
    There seems to be no immediate end to the crises rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as six governors elected on the platform of the party boycotted the North East Zonal Rally of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council which took place on Wednesday in Borno.

    The aggrieved governors led by Gov. Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) rather went on a solidarity visit to the Bauchi State governor Sen. Bala Mohammed in Bauchi ignoring the party’s campaign rally which was taking place in Bauchi at the same time.

    Some key stakeholders in the party including the PDP National Chairman Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, Chairman of the Campaign Council, Gov. Emmanuel Udom, Vice Chairman North, PDP Campaign Council Gov. Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Gov. Seyi Makinde (Oyo) Vice Chairman South South Dan Orbih, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, a Presidential aspirant from Borno State and many others were absent at the rally

    When contacted on his absent at the campaign rally, Media Adviser to Chairman, Simon Imobo-Tswam in a terse statement said he was held back by other very pressing engagements.
    “There is nothing to it at all as party is ably and powerfully represented there, led by the Deputy Chairman (North)” he reported.

    But addressing a mammoth crowd of PDP supporters at Ramat Square, Maiduguri, decorated in PDP colours, the party’s Presidential Candidate Atiku’s Abubakar assured his supporters in the North East that he will reopen the search for oil and gas at the Lake Chad basin.

    He said, “When I visited the Shehu of Borno he demanded for the revitalisation of the Chad Basin Authority.  I pledged that when elected I will revitalise the Chad Basin Authority.

    “He demanded for the return of peace, so, I pledged that I will return peace in Borno because I have not seen what will make Borno not to have peace till now. He also demanded for the construction of road networks in the state and those that connect other states and countries. He demanded for the creation of jobs for Borno Youths and the North-East.

    “I will revitalise the oil exploration in Borno that was started. The Shehu of Borno asked us to ensure that other local governments are connected to electricity in Borno and I pledge to do that if elected.
    “We look forward to the day you will vote for PDP, enough of hunger, enough of insecurity, enough of unemployment, enough of suffering, enough of too much taxation. We will make sure that you are exempted from exorbitant taxation.

    “These ones you elected in the past seven years they only brought hunger, lack of peace, unemployment among others. If you elect me, I will do all these for you” Atiku reassures.

    You may wish to recall that in 2016, the Federal Government spent about $340 million and additional N27 billion, in the search of crude oil in the Lake Chad and North East region.

    Also Speaking, Gov. of Delta State and Vice-Presidential Candidate said that Atiku has the magic wand to end insecurity, hunger and bring the country on the part of growth.

    “He will ensure that you don’t go to bed hungry, that there is food in the family. Our women will be able to provide for their children and men will be able to provide for their children and our children can go to school and will have jobs.

    “That is the Nigeria we are looking forward to, that is the Nigeria that Atiku Abubakar is going to provide for us. It is time for new Nigerian and that new Nigeria we are talking about, it is only Atiku that can provide it”.
    Meanwhile, the convoy of PDP Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was attacked by hoodlums on its way to the campaign venue.
     
    In a video seen on social media, a group of people were seen running in different directions as gunshots rend the air. Eyewitnesses said they saw vandalized vehicles and several persons that were injured.
    Although the level of damage could not be confirmed as at the time of filling this report, Sen. Dino Melaye who was one of the anchor persons at the rally ground announced that “164 cars were damaged and 167 persons in the hospital”.
     
    The attack notwithstanding, the party has expressed optimism that Atiku will sweep out the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Borno and other North East States.
    In a statement on Wednesday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan the party said that Atiku will record a sweeping victory in Borno and other States of the federation in the 2023 general elections.
     
    The PDP further asserted that “it will be a hard task for the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, to secure the statutory 25% votes in most States of the country and particularly in Borno State despite being the home State of the APC Vice-Presidential Candidate, Sen. Kashim Shettima.
     
    “This is because, while Asiwaju Tinubu is not on ground being no match for PDP’s more popular and much loved Atiku Abubakar, the APC’s Vice Presidential Candidate, Kashim Shettima has since lost face with the citizens following his abysmal failure as Governor of the State.
     
    “Since the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as Presidential Candidate of the PDP, the APC, particularly in Borno State has been disconcerted, confused and disorganized by the mass exodus of APC members into the PDP across the nooks and crannies of the State in support of Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.
     
    “Reports from Borno State show that in the last one month, the PDP has recorded over a million new entrants. These are mostly members of the APC and other well-meaning Nigerians who have rejected the failed APC to support the PDP and Atiku Abubakar in the mission to rescue their State and Nigeria at large from the stranglehold of the APC”.
     
    Ologunagba said that the people of Borno State have suffered untold hardship, sorrow and pain under the APC and are eager for a new lease of life under the PDP and Atiku Abubakar whose proven leadership capacity represents their renewed hope for survival, security, economic sustenance, infrastructural regeneration and return to normal life.
    Even as the party was mobilizing voters for its Presidential candidate in Borno, the G5 governors were in Bauchi on a solidarity visit to Gov. Bala Mohammed.
    Addressing journalists on the purpose of their visit, Gov, Wike said, “We came her to fraternize with him, find out how things are with him, if there are areas we can fraternize in terms of advice, because what affects him, affects us.
    By the Grace of God, I know that he has done well in Bauchi and the people of Bauchi will still vote for him to come back for a second tenure”.
    In his response, Gov. Mohammed thanked his colleagues for their care and concern. He said that he shared a lot of things in common with the governors.
     
    He said, “One thing I appreciate in them is that they look out for your challenges, they are not going for second term, all of them but they are always worried. Their idea and principles may be slightly different from mine but I bear their pains as much as they bear my own pains. We share so much in common.
     
    “They know I have challenges in Bauchi, the challenges of anti-party, the challenges of under cutting and mischief and of course politics is about all these. When you know that you have people behind you of that caliber, you feel fulfilled because there is hardly anything we can do better than what we did before especially for them that have done second term and have left legacies and landmarks. Even for me that have just done one term, I feel that I have done enough because I am not the only one created at the surface of the earth in Bauchi.
    “I am happy that they are here and I will use the opportunity to confined in the people I have the confidence that I can confined in, some of my worries, my fears, my apprehensions and that of my state. I am happy that you came because some of these things cannot be said on the telephone. As PDP members, I will always see you as my closest comrades in this journey of life”.
     
    Some of the dignitaries at the campaign rally include the party’s Deputy National Chairman North Amb. Umar Damagum who stood in for the Chairman, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal Director General of Campaign Council and some members of the party National Working Committee.
     
    END

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