Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, commenced his presidential campaign with the launch of his three-book memoirs. He, however, enjoined Nigerians to keep hope alive, saying help is on the way. Inauguration of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
According to Atiku: “Our task today is to come together to rescue and rebuild our beloved country, Nigeria. That is the end goal. It is existential to us as a nation, and it is a task that history beckons upon us all to grasp with both hands and undertake with vigour and zeal.
“But, to rescue and rebuild our country, we must first takeover the mantle of leadership from the party that has driven us into this mess. To do this, we must all be united in purpose and come together to fight and win all the elections slated for next year.
“Every single person, who loves this country, as I do, is needed for the arduous tasks that face us ahead as a nation, and this includes every member of the PDP. And it is my fervent hope and prayer that every man and woman of goodwill will join hands with us to help rescue, rebuild and reposition our beloved country, Nigeria.
“So, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, and the distinguished members of our Presidential Campaign Council, it is in the light of all I have set out above that I want you to view today’s inauguration.”
According to him, “The tasks ahead may appear daunting; they may seem a load too heavy to bear, but, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of generations yet unborn, we must not, even for one minute, shirk in the responsibilities that we have been entrusted with to come together to rebuild this beloved country of ours.
“I wish to congratulate all the men and women nominated to serve in the Presidential Campaign Council. You have been selected from among the millions of our party members to join this esteemed council because of your past contributions to the party. Naturally, not all members of our party can be in the Presidential Campaign Council.
“But every single member of the PDP is an important member of the party and each one of you is still entrusted with the responsibility of leading our party to victory in next year’s elections. Those of you, who have not found yourselves in the Presidential Campaign Council are just as important as those who have, and we do not take your contributions for granted.”
Iyorchia Ayu, represented by by Deputy National Chairman, Ambassador Iliya Umar Damagum, said members of the campaign council should put in their best in the discharge of the assignment of righting the wrongs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the polls. He said, “We can no longer stay by the side without blowing our whitelist. We have gone through a transparent primary. We know that PDP is more focused than ever.
“To you members of the campaign council, you were all selected because you have distinguished yourselves in your various capacities. Atiku has been tested. Nigerians have no doubt of his capacity to run the country. We have to rescue this country from the clutch of APC. God has provided Nigerians another opportunity to evaluate us and those that came after us. It is time to do the needful.”
Atiku’s Running Mate, Emmanuel Okowa submitted: “PDP gave Nigeria the best at a time the country is sick. We cannot try those, who are not yet experienced enough to heal the country or build bridges. There is no need for the on-job-trainees. We need competent and tried consultant.
“We must be proud as a party to present the best man for the job. We must ensure that this campaign is taken very seriously to our various wards and local governments across the country. I am very convinced that the PDP will win the South-east. We have been to the South-west, and what I saw there was impressive. The same in the north.
“PDP is the only party that is contesting very well in the six geo-political zones in the coming election. If elections were conducted today, the PDP will win.”
Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, told the audience: “Don’t mind the doomsayers. The wind cannot move the rock. PDP has all it requires to win the presidential election. Don’t mind the naysayers. The PDP is a solid rock.
“I want to assure you that as a campaign council, we have the seriousness, unity that is required. It is our duty to campaign, to carry and publicise the message on how to rescue and restore the hope of Nigerians. It is for Nigerians to vote and for the Almighty to give victory.
“I want to say here, don’t mind the doomsayers. I read everywhere all that those doomsayers were saying – PDP here, PDP there. But I want to assure you that PDP is a solid rock and we know that no matter the wind, it will not move the rock. So, irrespective of the wind that you see around the rock, it will not move the rock.
“The rock remains as solid as ever. Please, don’t mind the doomsayers. We want to assure you that we are campaigning to win. Nothing is acceptable to PDP outside victory for PDP, but this will also require that all of us must work.
“This time, there is no sitting in Abuja; everybody will have to work hard and carry the message home. PDP is not an Abuja party; you win from your unit, your ward and not by sitting in Abuja. The campaign council will take the message to the unit.”
Director General of the campaign and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, counselled: “It is with humility and sense of purpose that I stand before you as the DG campaign, which will serve as the vehicle that will deliver the PDP and its presidential flag bearer and his running mate to the Villa, come May 29, 2023 by the Grace of God.
“Our Chairman has spoken, all of us are going to hit the ground running and we shall work collectively as a family and expeditiously to ensure the victory of our party.
“The PDP and our candidate is the party to beat in this election, it is only for us to work and with God on our side, we shall deliver this victory to our party and to Nigerians. We have the support of Nigerians and we appeal that INEC will conduct a free and fair election, and victory by the Grace of God, will be guaranteed for PDP.”
However, Governor Nyesome Wike did not attend