…Promises $10bn youths empowerment fund for MSME
…As Bode George absent
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, in Lagos, charged Nigerians to hold leaders accountable and take destiny in their hand in the 2023 general polls.
Atiku also said he will set aside $10billion fund to empower youths engaged in Micro Small and Medium Enterprise, MSME, if elected in 2O23 poll.
Meanwhile, former National Vice Chairman South West, Bode George, was conspicuously absent as he belongs to the enstranged group of Rivers State Governor, Neysome Wike, the Intergrity Group.
Atiku charged residents it was time to liberate themselves from one family by voting him as president and the party’s governorship candidate, Dr Olajide Adediran (Jandor) in next year’s polls.
The PDP presidential candidate, made the urge, while addressing leaders, elders, members and supporters of PDP at the presidential rally, held at Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, Lagos Island.
The rally had in attendance: PDP vice presidential candidate, Ifeayin Okowa; Governors Douoye Diri of Bayelsa, Darius Isiaku,Taraba, PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorcha Ayu; former Senate president, Anyim Pius Anyin; members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, Alhaja Titi Atiku Abubakar, wife of PDP presidential candidate; PDP Lagos Governoship Candidate, Dr. Olajide Adediran, Jandor, among others.
Speaking, Atiku said the question people would be asking, was where would he get the money form.?
“The question is simple, I will privatise the refineries in the country, including those in Port- Harcourt, Wari, Kaduna and other to raise the needed funds for the empowerment which I said is key to bringing back Nigeria’s glory,” he said.
Atiku, however, faulted the often time claim by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu that they developed Lagos through their efforts while in power.
Atiku, recalled that he first came to Lagos 53 years ago, and there was only Carter Bridge then that linked Lagos Mainland to Lagos Island, citing that subsequently the Second Mainland Bridge, the Third Mainland Bridge, Agege Motor Road, among others that came after were Federal Government projects.
According to him, “APC government didn’t do all those but the Federal Government. They are lying to you that they developed Lagos.
“The message I bring to you Lagos residents is for you to hold your leaders accountable, take your destiny in your hand, and do not vote for one family. That is why we are here today in Lagos.”
Okowa, who is also sitting governor of Delta State, described Atiku as a man well accepted all over the country, and one who meant well for the country, saying that he was poised to build Nigeria and Lagos that worked for everybody if elected as next president, come 2023.
According to Okowa, “Atiku will bring back Nigeria’s glory if he is elected as president of this country. Sadly, the ruling APC has failed the country in the last eight years that they have been in power.”
He, however, urged the party leaders and members to go all out and canvass for votes, praying that it would be well with Nigeria, even as he appreciated all for attending the rally.
PDP National Chairman, Dr. Ayu, said the party was poised to take Lagos from the hands of those he said did not love the state, noting that the state had enough resources, population wise, among others, and, therefore, people living there should have nothing to do with poverty.
“Today, we have brought you hope, somebody who knows Lagos, somebody who knows Lagos, somebody who works for people is here with you.
“People of Lagos, you need to be free from multiple taxes. With Atiku Abubakar, life would be better for you. He would make sure Nigeria becomes greater in the whole Africa,’ he assured.
He later presented the party’s flag to both the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Jandor and his running mate, Ms. Funke Akindele (Jennifer) at the rally.
Also speaking, Titi Atiku Abubakar, wife of PDP presidential candidate, called on residents to cast their votes for the main opposition party in the coming polls, as she lamented the poverty level in the country, declaring that enough of the suffering people were passing through in the country under APC, which she said had transformed from AD, to ACN and now to APC.
“Suffering would end in Lagos, suffering would end in Nigeria if you vote Atiku,” she urged.
Jandor, who spoke earlier, said residents do not want poverty, rather they preferred freedom and were opposed to dictatorship of one man.
He said it was time to have Lagos that worked for all, even as he promised to end the harassment by touts in garages, on roads and markets across the state, if elected as governor, come 2023.
“I would put a stop to harassment in markets, roads and everywhere once we come into government,” he said.