BusinessDay

Atiku rallies PDP members as party unveils campaign council

Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday, appealed to members of the party to close ranks, as the party inaugurated its 2023 Presidential Campaign Council headed by Udom Emmanuel, the governor of Akwa Ibom.

The event, which took place in Abuja, attracted the party’s chieftains from across the country, including David Mark, Bukola Saraki, Adulphus Wabara, and Pius Anyim.

Atiku reminded the party members that the Presidential Campaign Council was set up by the party to diligently prosecute and win the 2023 general election.

He said: “Although this body is styled ‘Presidential Campaign Council’, in reality, it is a General Elections Council. Because, of what use or benefit is a victory of the presidential candidate alone without a sweeping victory of all our other candidates at all of the elections taking place next year?’

Atiku said Nigeria has witnessed a frightening descent into anarchy since the All Progressive Congress (APC) assumed office in 2015, adding: “Our nation is currently in the throes of a multidimensional crisis encompassing insecurity, economic meltdown, disunity and mutual mistrust, to mention a few.”

He promised to restore Nigeria’s unity through equity, social justice, mutual collaboration, and consensus among our diverse peoples, build a strong and effective democratic government “where the safety and security of our people and their property is our primary and singularly most important responsibility, as well as establish a strong, resilient, inclusive and prosperous economy that generates opportunity, jobs and wealth while lifting the poor out of poverty.”

Read also: PDP NEC member alleges plot to derail Atiku’s campaign

He reiterated his plans to encourage the adoption of “a true federal system that provides where all the federating units are equal, and has a fair and representative federal government that secures our borders, defends our people and ensures national unity, whilst allowing the federating units to develop and grow in line priorities which they have set on their own and redevelop, invest in, and strengthen our education system in order to provide its recipients with the education and skills needed to compete in the new global order driven by innovation, science, and technology, as well as to live healthy, productive, and meaningful lives.”

“To undertake these tasks, the members of our party, the PDP, have graciously granted me the ticket to lead the party in next year’s presidential elections, with the singular mandate to come and lead the efforts to cure these ills,” Atiku said.

According to him, the task of the party members is to come together to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.

He said: “That is the end goal. It is existential to us as a nation, and it is a task that history beckons upon us all to grasp with both hands and undertake with vigour and zeal.

“For our party to rescue and rebuild our country, we must first take over the mantle of leadership from the party that has driven us into this mess. To do this, we must all be united in purpose and come together to fight and win all the elections slated for next year.

“Every single person who loves this country, as I do, is needed for the arduous tasks that face us ahead as a nation, and this includes every member of the PDP. And it is my fervent hope and prayer that every man and woman of goodwill will join hands with us to help rescue, rebuild and reposition our beloved country, Nigeria.

“The tasks ahead may appear daunting; they may seem a load too heavy to bear. But, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of generations yet unborn, we must not, even for one minute, shirk in the responsibilities that we have been entrusted with to come together to rebuild this beloved country of ours.

Atiku also unveiled three books detailing his own story about his stewardship as Vice President.

The books are ‘The Story of Atiku Abubakar’, ‘Landmark Constitutional Law Cases in Nigeria (2004-2007), the Atiku Abubakar cases’ and ‘Restructuring as a Pathway to National Unity and Development’.

Umaru Damagun, the party’s deputy national chairman, who stood in for Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman, said the flag-off of the presidential campaign “was the first major processes to rescue our beloved country, Nigeria and Nigerians from the hostile, aggressive and hunger-stricken grief of the APC government”.

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