By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Former Vice President Abubakar Atiku and the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Chief Uche Secondus on Thursday, described the July 14 gubernatorial election in Ekiti, as a litmus test for the rescue mission the party is initiating for the entire country in 2019.
The duo joined by governors under the platform of the party on urged the electorate to ignore the threat of intimidation and resist rigging during the July 14 governorship election in the State.
The PDP leaders who took turns to address the large crowd at the mega rally in Ado-Ekiti said the party is ready to take over power from the APC which, according to them has turned a part of the country to a huge killing field.
The PDP candidate, Prof. Olusola was officially presented with the party’s flag by the PDP National Chairman at a rally held at Ojumose area of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Atiku, a presidential aspirant, said the PDP was on a mission to rescue Nigeria from insecurity and other challenges confronting it.
Bigwigs at the event included former Caretaker Chairman and ex-Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi; former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa; former Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido; former Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu and Chairman Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin among others.
Other PDP governors who canvassed for votes for Olusola included Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Mr. Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Mr. Daris Ishaku (Taraba), Prof. Ben Ayade (Cross River), Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), and Bayelsa State Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) represented by his deputy, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha Jonah (rtd) and River State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Drumming support for continuity agenda in Ekiti, Atiku urged the people of Ekiti to vote for Olusola, who is seeking to succeed his boss, Governor Ayo Fayose, in the July 14 election.
He said: “I have known Ekiti since 1992 and between then and now, every project in this state was built by PDP and it is time to make sure that PDP continue.
“People must ensure that PDP continues in power because continuity is the key to development. The PDP is on rescue mission to this country. “We will bring back security, we will revamp our economy, PDP will restore good governance in Nigeria. Please stay until your votes are counted.”
PDP is better repositioned — Secondus
In his contribution, Secondus said: “The PDP is rebranded and repositioned; we are here to rescue Nigeria from insecurity, from collapse and from hardship Nigerians are presently going through under the APC government.
“Many Nigerians are being killed in Taraba, Benue and Plateau States. How many of our people will you kill? APC and its people are not God.
“We refuse to be intimidated, it is their style to intimidate. This country is experiencing civil war because of killing and Buhari is behind it, APC is behind it, PDP will take over.
“They have the plan to arrest our people, our members but we will not be intimidated. The APC is broken already, the broom has scattered. We have the best candidate for this election and he will take over from Fayose to continue the development of this state.”
Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council and Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel said Nigerians are tired of the APC leadership and are ready to vote out the party.
He urged security agencies to allow the conduct of a free, fair and credible election and ensure that the votes of the Ekiti electorate count.
Governor Fayose cautioned the people of Ekiti against voting for the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in the July 14 governorship election saying a vote for APC is a vote for Boko Haram and Fulani’s herdsmen.
He accused the APC of planning to the rig the governorship poll but maintained that the people of the state were ready to resist any attempt to manipulate the poll. He alleged that the intimidation ahead of the election had started with the alleged closure of the Akure Airport to prevent governors and other party leaders from attending the rally.
Fayose said: “INEC, we know your plan that you want to rig for APC, we will follow you bumper-to-bumper. We know your preloaded agenda, how you are planning to release ballot papers to APC.
“We knew what you did in Kogi, we knew what you did in Ondo, we know your plan. Whether APC resorts to violence or not, Kolapo Olusola will be declared governor-elect of Ekiti State, Nigeria.
“I want to say that over ninety nine per cent of those who will conduct the election are not from Ekiti; youth corpers, police, INEC are not from here, leave our state alone.
“Look at this crowd, look at this young people, if you are living in our state, this is not a hired crowd, we don’t hire crowd here, these are people living in the state.”
“Since Monday, they have been arresting PDP people, they arrested three teachers. In this election, it will be 16-0, it will be 16-0 again, the 16-0 is loading. “I want to condemn the Federal Government for what they have done; why do you have to close the Akure Airport? That is shameful, that is not patriotic, that is shameful.”
Comparing the President of France, Emmanuel Marcon, to President Muhammadu Buhari, Fayose said “This Country does not deserve an old man”.
Dismissing the insinuation that the large crowd was rented, Fayose said, “this is not a rented crowd, these are citizens of Ekiti.”
Fayose who rejected the invitation from the Presidency to receive President Muhammadu Buhari on the 10th of July at Akure Airport, said, “ I’m not coming to receive the President, he has not done anything for Ekiti.
Speaking after receiving the flag, Olusola said: “We are going to sustain the good legacies of Governor Ayo Fayose, we are going to change the face of Ekiti.