Wednesday, February 4, 2015 6:03 pm
President Goodluck Jonathan, speaking in Benin, has described the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), clamour for change as mere hypocrisy as he berated the party for declining to participate in the National Conference his administration organised last year.
In the same city, former APC leader, Tom Ikimi declared the party dead in the state.
Jonathan whose campaign train berthed in Benin on Wednesday, queried why the APC that was canvassing for change would refuse to participate in a conference which was intended to bring constitutional changes to the country.
An All Progressives Congress governor in a reaction told TheNEWS that the president has certainly gotten his facts muddled up, as APC states sent representatives to the conference.
“I suspect the president was confusing the well reasoned position of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with the position of the party. APC states were at the conference. And in any case, Tinubu was right: the Conference was a mere jamboree, a waste of public funds, as nothing will ever come out of the decisions”, the governor said.
President Jonathan however told party faithful and the crowd of supporters at the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium-venue of the campaign rally that he has not disappointed in the past four years since the people of Edo State gave him their mandate.
He said the transformation his government has been working on is to make Nigeria, another Singapore, dismissing the change the APC was canvassing for is “an every day change in people’s lives”
In his welcome address, Edo Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, describing President Jonathan as a democrat who stands for the unity of the country and berated Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s assertion that Jonathan would not get more than 10 percent of Edo votes in the presidential election.
He assuring the President that Edo will give him more than 85 percent votes cast during the election.
Chief Tom Ikimi who spoke in the same vein, declared that APC was dead in in the state and was in the mortuary, adding “we are doing the burial rites.”
He called on INEC to ensure free and fair election through provision of Permanent Voters Cards to all eligible voters in the country.
Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, in his speech, said the people of the South-South will not vote for tyranny, autocracy and someone who has no respect for human dignity, and assured Jonathan the people of the region will vote for him.
Governor of Cross River State and Zonal Co-ordinator of Jonathan Campaign for the South-South, Sen. Liyel Imoke, said Jonathan has proven to Nigerians that performance was in the blood of the South-South people.
“After this campaign, do not visit the South-South again. You have won the election. Mr. President carry go,” he said, adding that Jonathan has performed beyond any other President in the first term in office.
Hundreds of PDP members from neighbouring Delta, Ondo and Anambra states were also at the rally to give their support to their Edo state counterparts.
Meanwhile, for the first time in his administration, Governor Adams Oshiomhole failed to receive the President at the Benin City Airport.
It was gathered that the governor was busy campaigning at Edo North senatorial district when the President’s plane touched down at the Benin Airport at about 11 am.