Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has, again, restated his commitment to restructuring the country, if he wins the forthcoming election.
The former vice president spoke at the party’s presidential rally held, today, at the historical Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, was conspicuously absent at the rally which was well attended by the national and state leaderships of the party.
Atiku and other prominent PDP leaders, however, acknowledged the role of the governor in ensuring a conducive environment for the presidential rally to take place.
Speaking at the rally, Atiku said: “First of all on behalf of the PDP Family, we want to thank you for your support which is evident here, you have been here under the sun for the whole day.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend Governor Makinde for making sure that this rally is well organised and orchestrated.
“Now this region of the South-West has been known to be agitating for restructuring. By this, we mean giving more power and autonomy to the states.
“It is one of the pillars of our programmes. We will do this so that you can develop your states.
“We are also committed that there are no more strikes in our universities. We will refine our universities and pay our teachers.
“We also promise industrialisation which shall be supported by the Federal Government.
“There are five major commitments we are making: The unity; we must make sure that there is inclusion of every part in our government.
“We will also make sure there is security so that there will be law and order. I want to appeal to you the people of Oyo State to support us all the way so as to march to victory.”
Also speaking at the rally, PDP national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, assured that the party’s presidential candidate will become the next president of the country
“The people of Oyo State have greatly honoured the PDP family. The state has demonstrated that it is a firm supporter of the PDP.
“In the next couple of days, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will become the president of Nigeria.
“They came with their change some eight years ago. Now everybody is hungry. Rice is no longer within reach at N58,000 per bag.
“Everybody present here are in debt because the All Progressives Congress (APC) government is borrowing and borrowing endlessly.
“After the elections, there will no longer be APC. They will dissolve into the smaller where they initially came from,” he said.
Ayu appealed to aggrieved party members in the state to “come back home because we are winner the election. We are inaugurating Atiku and the PDP on May 29.”
Speaking, the PDP vice presidential candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, said he was impressed by the “maddening” crowd he saw all over the city of Ibadan, all for the PDP rally.
He described Oyo State as the seat of South-West politics and thanked Governor Makinde for the developmental strides of his administration in the state.
He called on eligible voters in the state to register their displeasure against the APC administration by voting it out of power in the forthcoming elections.
Okowa, who is also the governor of Delta State, said: “This is not the Nigeria of our dream. Joblessness and hunger have taken over. The PDP will change the face of Nigeria.
“Atiku is the face of the PDP. He has the relevant experience to tackle the challenges facing the country.
“Nigeria has been destroyed much further than the military left it. Atiku has the capacity to rebuild the country.
“Hope is coming and Atiku represents the hope. He has a covenant with you. PDP has done it before; it will do it again,”
Wife of the PDP candidate, Chief Mrs Titilayo Atiku Abubakar, described other presidential candidates as neophytes who cannot solve the problems facing the country.
“What is on ground is not for the neophyte who is just learning politics; it is not for somebody who is thinks ruling a state is like ruling over the entire country.
“Atiku is not like a blind who is leading the blind. I am appealing to you to vote for my husband.
“Atiku knows the road and only he can do it. You should please honour me by voting for my husband,” she said.
Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Committee, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, said the party was determined to win Oyo State and the South-West.
Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State assured that what happened in the governorship election in his state would be replicated in Oyo to ensure victory for the party in all the elections.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State said Atiku is the only presidential candidate who has been speaking about restructuring.
He said Atiku, as the president, will help to restore the pride of place of Oyo State, the South-West and other federating units in the country.
A former Minister of State (Federal Capital Territory), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, said it is only the PDP that can rescue the country from what she described as the eight years of APC menace.
Other speakers, including Senators Dino Melaye and Hosea Agboola, and Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi and the Oyo APC chairman, Hon. Dayo Ogungbenro, urged the people to vote for the PDP in all the forthcoming elections.