By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – FORMER Vice President and 2023 aspiring president on the platform of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to protect the interest of Rivers state people in an all inclusive government he promises to run if elected President come 2023.
Atiku was addressing Rivers PDP delegates on Saturday in Port Harcourt where he also stressed the imperative for the party to be united than ever before even if outcome of the forthcoming presidential primary does not favor some persons.
He said while he respects other presidential aspirants in the race for the party ticket, he has more capacity, experience and connections to win the election for PDP to return to power.
He accused the ruling APC of “taking Nigeria from top to bottom” since seizing power at the center, describing President Muhammadu Buhari led government as a one-sided administration that has aggravated insecurity in the country.
“Whether in public or private, I will always protect the interest of Rivers people. If I am elected, I will bring all parts of this country together so that everybody can have that sense of belonging.
“PDP must unite to win this time. It does not matter the outcome of the convention. Let us unite and win. We have been in opposition for past seven years. We cannot afford to be in opposition again for another four years”, he said.
Dino Melaye, Spokesman, Atiku Consultation Team, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for outstanding infrastructures delivery in Rivers state, but contended that Atiku was better placed to fly PDP ticket in the coming elections.
Urging delegates to support Atiku, Melaye noted that the former Vice President boasts of, “Eleven million votes in his pocket already and it will be unwise for any delegate to give his vote to somebody that is struggling to have some votes”.
The Chairman PDP, Rivers state chapter, Amb Desmond Akawor told Atiku that the party in the state would decide what is best for Rivers people as Nigerians eagerly yearn to be free from the strangulation of the APC government, adding that zoning as agreed by the PDP must be upheld for the sake of fairness and equity.