Ahead of the 2023 poll, a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Senator, Dino Melaye has described the presidential candidate of the party Atiku Abubakar as a sane, fittest and the most experienced of all the candidates jostling for the exalted seat of the presidency.
Speaking during the public declaration for Atiku and induction ceremony by the Diamond Ladies in Politics held Saturday evening in Abuja, Melaye argued that there is no basis of comparing Atiku with the presidential candidate of the ruling All progressive congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Melaye maintained that the duo remained the frontrunners for the plum job of the presidency as against the notion held in certain quarters that the presidential candidate of the Labour party (LP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Messrs Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso would spring surprises at the presidential poll.
Said he: “I am happy that everybody here is singing one son and that is Atiku for President. Many are already voting at the social media but INEC have no voting centre at the social media.
“Atiku supporters are real, they are original. You can see them and they have PVCs. We have two very important people contesting this election. Atiku Abubakar, the Wazirin Adamawa and Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the APC.
” Unfortunately both of them are very wealthy but there is a difference. Atiku is a billionaire with enterprise while Tinubu is a billionaire without enterprise. Atiku is a billionaire with enterprise because he has a history of physical business in agriculture, education, oil and gas, media, manufacturing and banking.
“But the other side (Tinubu) have money without enterprise. Atiku Abubakar Has met the constitutional requirements of the federal government that anyone who wants to contest for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be physically and mentally fit. I cannot say same of the other person (Tinubu).
“At 75 what is new that Atiku would be looking for other than to set the pedestal for the upcoming generation to have a life they can call their own. So this competent Nigerian that is highly mobile and administratively sagacious is coming to change the narrative.
“Obi is a fantastic Nigerian but he was not known nationally until Atiku identified him. Atiku is a talent hunter. Everyone who was a reformer in this country between 1999 to date was a discovery of Atiku.
“Atiku discovered Obi before keyboard warriors discovered Obi. Unfortunately election are not going to take place on the social media. It is going to take place at the polling units. And those that would vote are the people here. So it is now operation votes must count.
“Out of all the presidential candidates, he is the only one with Presidential campaign experience. All of them are running for the office of the president for the first time. From Kwankwaso, to Obi to Tinubu and others. Atiku has led this route before. He understands it and he will emerge victorious by the Grace of God.”
…Atiku rally support of youths and women
Atiku who canvassed the support of the teeming population of youths and women in the country promised to reposition the country if voted into power in the 2023 poll.
Represented by his daughter, Hajia Mariam, he said: “His excellency Atiku Abubakar is all about the youths. So all the women and youths must get involved in nation building and most especially get involved in the forthcoming election. Atiku would take the country back to where it is supposed to be.”
…Diamond Ladies in politics pledge to mobilise 2 million votes
Convener of the Diamond Ladies in politics, Princess Maimunat Wada pledged to mobilise no fewer than 2 million votes for Atiku in the presidential poll.
Lamenting the appalling level of insecurity and the severe hardship being experienced by Nigerians, she contended that Atiku have the wherewithal to address the teething challenges besetting the country if he emerge victorious at the poll.
She noted: ” With Atiku Abubakar on the saddle of leadership of the country, there would be inclusiveness of Nigerians irrespective of their tribal and religious affiliations. Atiku choice of his running mate, His Excellency Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, his array of business partners, investments spread across the country and even the ethnic backgrounds of his spouses are clear testimony that he would be a true Nigerian president.
” As of today, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar remains the only candidate that has released a clear and unambiguous roadmap to economic recovery of the country. This simply means he is the most prepared presidential candidate in the country.
” With His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, together we shall build a nation where a northerner will see a southerner as his or her own brother and sister, Where religion and ethnicity will not be a dividing tool nor barrier but a powerful tool for togetherness.
“With Atiku Abubakar all these are possible. Today, we are declaring our support for Atiku Abubakar to become the next President of this country. We are going to mobilize, and encourage not less than two million Nigerians who are real voters to vote for him because he would definitely tackle poverty, insecurity, unemployment and the infrastructural decay in the country.”
…Put your house in order to defeat APC, US based physician tells PDP elders
United States of America based Professor of Medicine in Georgia, Prof. Emeka Umerah, in a keynote address at the occasion paid glowing tribute to Atiku Abubakar over the role he played in the truncation of the alleged third term agenda of former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007.
He said but for the intervention of Atiku, Nigeria would have eventually returned to the era of the dark days of military dictatorship and tyrannical rule.
Reminiscing the successful role played by Atiku to revamp the economy when President Obasanjo held sway, he said it behooves the electorates to elect Atiku Abubakar to address the economic and worsening security challenges in the country.
He thereby enjoined aggrieved stalwarts of the PDP to put their differences aside and work in concert to ensure the defeat of the APC at the presidential poll.
According to him: “It is now audible to the deaf and visible to the blind, the growing spate of insecurity in Nigeria. Our security challenges have now grown beyond the hitherto known activities of dissident Boko Haram terrorists. It is now as a matter of fact, hydra-headed- banditry, kidnapping, farmer-herder clashes, livestock rustling, separatist agitations, religious-related killings among others. These have threatened the country’s farming belt and now worsening the food insecurity problem that we have been plagued with since especially the past six years.
“Research has shown the fiscal effects of insecurity on the Nigerian economy. Economic analysts and available research have blamed the escalating level of insecurity for the loss of over N1.4 billion to N1.6 billion in business and commercial assets between 2015 and 2018. Daily oil production which has remained the mainstay of our economy has also declined from 2.2 million to 1.5 million barrels per day in 2018.
” The literal interpretation of all of these is that it has resulted in low government revenue generation. That is why some of the Governors are threatening that they may not pay salaries if the trend continues. On the part of the direct masses who always bear the brunt, rising poverty, inequality, and inadequacy of employment opportunities, particularly among the youths are at the centre of Nigeria’s insecurity problem.
“Economic pundits have therefore observed that “increased insecurity in Nigeria has coincided with rising poverty levels, with an estimated 83 million people which is nearly 40% of the total population, living in extreme poverty (less than $2 per day) as at April 2022. This is a whopping 18% increase from 70 million people recorded in 2016.
“At least, Atiku’s charge on the present Nigerian authorities to go beyond issuing threats to arresting the generally dreadful and debilitating security situation in the country. He has publicly raised the alarm that the killings and general insecurity in the country had continued unabated because culprits from previous incidents were left unpunished, and this naturally generated more criminals.
“Atiku believes that those caught in acts of criminality should not be pampered but crushed so as to set worthy examples and also serve as a deterrent. Again, only Atiku, who understands even better, the economic implications of the debilitating security situation in the country right at this worst moment, has the moral courage and mental capacity to fix the security challenges facing the country.
“There is no gainsay the fact that the challenges facing our beloved nation, Nigeria have become multifarious and more hydra-headed than it was even during our historic return to the fourth democratic republic in 1999.
“And while not shying away from the very sincere fact that the now opposition, People’s Democratic Party, PDP failed to at least consolidate on the gains and institutional reforms began by the Obasanjo/Atiku Presidency, we cannot also ignore the more accurate fact that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC has exacerbated the problem in the past over years it has held sway.
“Even when the APC promised to fight corruption, the end results is that corruption has rather become more official under Buhari’s watch. The Boko Haram it vowed to end in 2015 have birthed multiple sister security threats that are now even becoming more dangerous like banditry, ISWAP and large scale kidnappings for ransom.
“As a matter of fact, their leaders who should squarely be prosecuted for crimes against humanity like Atiku has been echoing are now even receiving Chieftaincy coronations. All these have accentuated the call for a new leadership breed that can fix the country and get Nigeria working again.
“This is why pundits remain firm in their analysis that it is either Nigeria braces up to elect a bold, courageous, decisive, formidable and unifying leader- attributes that has been tested and can only be seen in an Atiku Abubakar, it may not make progress.
“We all recall the tenacity and doggedness with which he fought against his boss’ third term agenda, not for anything but more to his firm believe that things must be done right and well even if it means falling out with certain individuals for the collective will of the masses to prevail.
” The Atiku belief in the Nigeria unity is so vehement that friends, allies, associates and even opponents will not fail but always acknowledge it.
“Therefore, the challenges facing Nigeria as a nation at this critical moment, particularly our economic quagmire finds a perfect answer in the Turaki character. Recall that he and his erstwhile boss, Obasanjo had kick-started many of the reforms that their successors have yet to consolidate on.
” One can justifiably counsel that Nigeria be returned therefore to the Atiku factory setting- the man who had one of the finest prognosis to our national issues and questions during his reign as a Vice President.
“This is why I and some other deeper analytical minds who have taken time to study him, vis-à-vis his antecedents, political progression and the challenges facing us as a nation believe strongly in his emergence as the PDP Presidential flag-bearer.
” The Party has put its best foot forward for the 2023 Presidential election and his choice of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa- an urbane and perfect gentleman as its Vice Presidential candidate in the 2023 Presidential election all puts an icing on the cake.
“What is left is for the leaders of the Party to put its house in order and work in unity of mind and purpose to achieve the seemingly herculean task before it- reclaiming the mandate and mantle of leadership from the ruling APC through the ballot.
” Good enough the electoral system which has tremendously improved is already shaping the events of things to come with the outcome of the recent Osun State Governorship election which the PDP trounced an incumbent ruling Party’s Governor.
“Atiku and the PDP leaders must continue with their fence-mending mission they know how to do best and seek to unify every member of the Party and even expand their coasts to woo more supporters and the electorates to their side.
“Hence the antecedents of Atiku are very well known, his campaign team must immediately get to work to market the product in a convincing manner to the already beleaguered Nigerian electorates.
” The PDP must therefore wear its thinking cap on strategy, strategy and strategy because as Alastair Campbell puts it in his Award winning book: Winners and How they succeed; “Strategy is God. That is why it has to come first in the holy trinity of Strategy, Leadership and Teamship”.
“In 2023 elections therefore, the Nigerian electorates must play its very active part in ensuring that the man with the proven competence and expertise succeeds in his effort to redirect this drifting ship to a safe harbor.
“The reforms in the electoral process which has substantially eliminated rigging, I repeat, have already made it easier for the emergence of credible leadership. It will no longer be business as usual. May democracy and good governance win at the very last!”
Oluchukwu rallies support for Atiku
For him, Chairman Paschal Oluchukwu Foundation, Ambassador Pascal Oluchchukwu, who was decorated as the Grand Patron of the Diamond Ladies in Politics, urged Nigerians believe in programmes and competence of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, adding that the Waziri Adamawa mean well for the Nation.
He said Atiku is the only Presidential candidate with experience to end all forms of insecurity in the country.
Among those confered with awards over their roles on the emergence of Atiku as the presidential candidate of the PDP were Senator Dino Melaye, Chairman Paschal Oluchukwu Foundation, Ambassador Pascal Oluchchukwu, Ebonyi PDP governorship candidate, Chief Odii Ifeanyi, Kogi Central Senatorial candidate, Barr. Natasha Akpoti Uduaghan.
Others include the former APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank, Hajiya Maryam Atiku, PDP National Youths Leader, Prince Mohammed Kadade Suleiman, Director General, Atiku 100%, Kazeem Tanimu, Director General, PDP Ward 2 Ward, Hon. Ada Frederick Okwori and United States of America based Professor of Medicine, Prof. Emeka Umerah.