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Atiku, PDP kick as FG blocks Abuja venue for campaign

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended its Presidential Mega Rally, earlier scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9 in Abuja.

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In a statement issued by the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan on Saturday in Abuja, PDP said the decision followed the refusal to grant the party venue of the rally.

“This is in spite of the fact that the PDP had made payments to the authorities and obtained official approval to host the mega rally at the Old Parade Ground, Garki, Abuja.”

Ologbondiyan added that PDP had earlier scheduled its Lagos Mega Rally for the Tafawa Balewa Square on Saturday, before the All Progressives Congress (APC) came up with the same date “forcing PDP campaign to opt for Abuja.”

He, however, expressed hope that the Lagos rally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 12, would be allowed to hold.

Ologbondiyan appreciated the commitment of Nigerians, particularly, those who had already converged in Abuja for the mega rally.

“While we regret the inconveniences caused by the action of the Presidency and APC, a rescheduled date for the rally will be communicated soon.”

He said: “PDP holds that these provocative actions, instead of deterring Nigerians from their determination to vote out the APC on Feb 16, has only succeeded in spurring more compatriots to support the people’s candidate Atiku Abubakar, to victory.’’

APC spokesman Lanre Isa-Onilu said the party did not own the Abuja venue, “so there is no way we could have denied them access to a place we don’t own and we don’t have control over”.

“If there is any truth to what the PDP has said, it is not APC and it is not our policy,” he said.

There was no immediate comment from the authorities at the APC-run Federal Capital Territory administration.

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