By Omeiza Ajayi, Dirisu Yakubu & Umar Yusuf
THE ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, flagged off its campaign in Yola, Adamawa state, challenging the country’s main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to an open debate.
APC urged Nigerians not to be deceived by the antics of the PDP, saying in spite of recent apologies by the former ruling party, it remained a house of thieves who are not amenable to change.
At the rally which was attended by the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Director General of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council, Rotimi Amaechi, federal and state lawmakers as well as members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party also witnessed the presentation of Governor Mohammed Jubrilla Bindow as the governorship flagbearer of the party in the state.
In his opening remarks, Amaechi said the APC is ready to compare its three and a half years in power with PDP’s 16 years, urging thousands of APC supporters who besieged the Ribadu Square venue of the event to not allow the PDP back to power.
“The only way we can show these men that we are serious is not to allow them come back because if they come back, they will use four years to recoup what they have lost. They will do what our parents used to teach us while we were kids, ‘do not talk while you are eating’. If you disturb them, they will tell you they are eating. They will be busy eating from what is left, all the struggles of Buhari is what they would squander. And they will do that in four years. After that, they will ask for another four years.’’
“The National Chairman of PDP, Secondus had said they were sorry for what they had done but a thief is a thief; they will never change. This election is between two parties that have been in power. We challenge PDP to an open debate where the masses will be present. Let them show their scorecard and we will show our own too. The only place they will beat us is in corruption.’’
Oshiomhole on his part hailed 11 other candidates of various parties for collapsing their structure into the Bindow Campaign Organization, saying: “If this group was 100 megawatts before, with the coming together of these additional reinforcements, it has become 8, 000 megawatts and we can now say, it is finished”.
Some of the parties whose candidates signed a Memorandum of Understanding to publicly step down for Governor Bindow were KOWA, Young People’s Party YPP, Mega Party, Peoples Democratic Movement PDM, Zenith Labour Party, and Accord among others.
Receiving the party’s flag, Governor Bindow hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping the North East and Adamawa State from being completely taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents in 2015.
Jubrilla stated that if not for the intervention of President Buhari the insurgents were on the verge of completely annexing the entire region. “The PDP regime then had all it takes to contain the advancing insurgents but out of lack of political will and selfish reasons that administration abandoned the people of the region”.
PDP’s campaign in Kogi, mere noise
The APC also described Monday’s presidential campaign of the PDP in Kogi State as mere noise.
“The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and some leaders of their travelling theatre group took their troupe to Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State yesterday. In their usual way, they spent hours in the sun, made a lot of noise, and left without making any statement worthy of note”, the APC said.
National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who briefed journalists on the impact of the PDP rally said like millions of Nigerians who are wondering how PDP got to this level of shamelessness, our party, “the APC is equally bemused by the manner the once boisterous political party degenerated into this current pitiful state.
“It is shocking to see the few leaders of PDP who are still showing up in the public for campaign alongside the discredited Alhaji Atiku, standing before the paltry crowd in the Lokoja stadium, blowing hot air, stomping the platform, and making empty promises.
What did the PDP promise the people of Kogi State? Nothing! It is that bad. Understandably, it must have been a very difficult situation for the PDP leaders to face the people of Kogi State to ask for support to return to power. Perhaps, many of them must have travelled on the Abuja – Lokoja express road that was awarded in 2001 when Atiku was the Vice President. What explanation did they have for the Kogi people on why the less than 200 kilometres road was not completed for 15 years while the party was still in power? Did it worry their conscience when they sighted the Sukuk billboard on the road, showing how President Buhari is completing the project? Lest we forget, the Abuja – Lokoja road is one of the most important highways in this country. The road connects the South-South, the South-East, the South-West and part of the North-Central to the federal capital territory, Abuja.’’
PDP takes campaign to Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau
Meanwhile, the PDP will today take its Presidential campaign rally to Minna, the Niger state capital.
The party which began its North-Central campaign on Monday with a rally in Lokoja, Kogi state will on Thursday move its train to Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.
According to the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party will observe Friday, January 11as a campaign-free day. On Saturday, the tour of North-Central would be completed with a visit to Plateau state.
It would be the turn of states in the South-West as the party hopes to take its message of getting Nigeria to work again across all the 36 states of the federation before the February 16, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.