Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called on Nigerians to vote for him to save the country from collapse. Speaking at a rally on Monday at the Ranchers Bees Stadium, Kaduna, Atiku said Nigerians cannot afford to vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 again because the party has failed.
He said if elected president in 2023, he would end banditry that has continued plagued Kaduna and other parts of the north.
While thanking the people of Kaduna state for giving him the highest number of votes in 2019, he urged them to replicate it in 2023.
“I will take issues concerning Kaduna serious if the people vote en mass and ensure that I win the 2023 election.
“Let me thank you for your support in 2019. You gave me the highest number of votes in 2019 and I believe you will do so this time around.
“I have come here on behalf of PDP to tell you If you vote for us, we will end insecurity in Kaduna. We will revive the industries in Kaduna in partnership with the private sector of Kaduna”, he said.
Atiku condemned attempts by thugs to disrupt the rally, stressing that such act is undemocratic and urged political parties to call their supporters to order and to ensure that campaigns, are conducted freely and peacefully.
Also adressing the rally, Atiku’s running mate and governor of Delta state, Dr. Ifenayichukwu Okowa, said the people of Southern Nigeria are ready to vote for PDP and Atiku Abubakar in 2023.
Okowa recalled that the PDP was successful in the recent gubernatorial election in Osun state and the people were ready to vote for the party en masse in 2023.
“I thank God for the life of Atiku who has a solution to the problem we have in Nigeria. With Atiku as president, we should not go to bed hungry and He is ready to end insecurity in Northern Nigeria.
“Those of us in the south-south, southeast, southwest are ready to vote Atiku and the PDP. When we went to Osun, they said we wouldn’t win but we went there and we won in the home state of the APC presidential candidate.
I’m happy with what I have seen here and I thank you for your support,” he said.
Also speaking, the Director General of the Atiku’s Presidential Campaign Council and Sokoto state governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, alleged that there were moves to stop the PDP from holding a campaign rally in Kaduna.
“They do not want us to continue with our rallies because they are not prepared. They haven’t constituted their campaign council and so, they want to drag us backwards.
“They do not want us to continue with our rallies because they are not prepared. They haven’t constituted their campaign council and so, they want to drag us back but we are moving on with our campaign.
“The people of Kaduna have seen and felt the negative impact of the APC and when Atiku gets into power by Next year, all the factories will return Insha Allah.
“His administration will ensure we invigorate our economy to have jobs and better life. I urge the people of Kaduna to come out in their millions to vote come February 2023″, he said.
Also speaking National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyiocha Ayu, said despite being denied the proposed venue for the rally, the PDP has shown that if rallies were held even on the road, they will always be successful.
“When they go low, we go high. they wanted to stop this rally, but they can’t. Whether they give us the venue or not, we will do our rally on the road and win. APC has failed. They don’t want us to recover this country and win. Let nobody deceive himself that we are going to lose. We are united and will win all our elections in Kaduna,” he said.
Also in a statement the chairman of the PDP in Kaduna alleged that the Federal Government denied them the use of Ahmadu Bello Stadium for the rally.
“As you are aware, the presidential candidate of our party, the PDP, Alh. Atiku Abubakar was billed to hold his presidential rally in Kaduna State tomorrow, Monday 17th October 2022 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.
” Regrettably, the APC-led federal government through the Minister of Sports denied our party the opportunity to use the facility despite applying for it more than seven days before the date of the rally.
” It is instructive to note that we received the correspondence withholding approval only yesterday, 15th October 2022 citing renovation work on the facility as an excuse.
“However, a physical tour of the stadium has revealed that there’s no renovation work ongoing either on the main bowl of the stadium or its adjoining structures. This is even as the same facility was used for the 2022 Eid-el-Moulud prayers just last Monday.
“Surprisingly, today Sunday 16th October 2022, we received another correspondence dated …. intimating us of approval by the Honourable Minister, less than 24 hours to the commencement of the rally and after the Kaduna State Government had approved Ranchers’ Bees Stadium as an alternative venue for us. Without any doubt, there was simply no initial intention to grant us approval to use the facility by the Minister and thus the late approval was done deliberately as a pretence.
“We are concerned by this apparent abuse of power by the APC-led federal government which, to say the least, constitutes a serious threat to our nation’s democracy.
“The Honourable Minister needs to be reminded that public facilities such as the Ahmadu Bello Stadium are our commonwealth and approval for their use should be given to all shades of citizens and groups without discrimination.
“We, therefore, condemn this grave abuse of power in its entirety and demand a stop to such show of political brigandage,” he alleged.