The People’s Democratic Party concluded the campaign in the South West region today, Thursday, 19th January 2023, with an astounding turnout of party supporters in Ibadan, the third most populous city in the country. The venue, Mapo Hall on Bere road has over the better part of the last century, hosted major political and social events. Indeed, it was on the very spot where Nnamdi Azikiwe delivered his presidential address and Chief Obafemi Awolowo held his campaign rally several decades ago, that the PDP presidential candidate made yet another contribution to history when he addressed the teeming crowd of Oyo indigenes who turned up for the rally.
After receiving a certificate of endorsement presented by the National Coordinator of Nigerian students on behalf of the students of South West Nigeria, HE Atiku Abubakar thanked all present at the rally for their support and loyalty. He also expressed his gratitude to Governor Seyi Makinde for ensuring that the rally was well organised and orchestrated. In his speech, he noted that the South West has always agitated for restructuring which is one of the five pillars of the PDP agenda. Granting them fiscal autonomy, he explained, would ensure that states and local governments develop their infrastructure more rapidly.
Furthermore, he promised an end to student strikes as lecturers would be paid promptly. The Presidential Candidate stated that the South West is a renowned business centre and consequently the PDP’s economic programme is committed to ensuring that the industrialisation of the South West is achieved. The incoming government, he said, will also promote unity by ensuring the inclusion of every part of the country, unlike the current APC government. He reiterated his commitment to take control of the security situation so that law and order will prevail in every geo-political zone. Finally, he assured his supporters that his promises will be kept unlike the present government that made several promises which they failed to honour.
Other speakers like Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Chairman of the PDP party also commended Governor Seyi Makinde for creating an enabling environment for the campaign to take place. According to Senator Dino, the participation of all the stakeholders in Oyo, including the voters, was clear proof that indeed HE Atiku Abubakar will become the next president. Senator Adeleke, Governor of Osun state also exhibited similar confidence of certain victory when he assured the crowd that once the formula with which he defeated APC in the gubernatorial election is applied, they would stand no chance in the presidential election.
The Director General of the campaign, Honorable Tambuwal, expressed his delight at being present in Mapo Hall “at the beginning of a new dawn of the history of Nigeria.” He also commended Governor Makinde for his democratic spirit. “This is the last state in the South West. PDP has a great presence here and is determined to win. Unlike another candidate that went to Kano with absolutely no message offered other than dancing, the Unifier has a strong message for all Nigerians from the vintage position of the historic Mapo Hall,” he said.
Governor Emmanuel Udom, Chairman of the Campaign Council directed his main message to the youths and students. “It is one of the largest turnouts and shows that Ibadan is still the largest city. Amongst all the candidates that want to be president, there is only one candidate who is talking about restructuring. The implication of that to Oyo state is that it will be given an opportunity to regain its pride of place. The only candidate that understands industrialisation and appreciates the fact that Oyo deserves an inland port, is PDP’s candidate. A viable port in Oyo state will ensure rapid development. People from all over Nigeria will no longer need to go to Lagos as they can clear their goods in Oyo state. This will empower the youth, students and women. Under his industrialisation policy, he has promised to establish an inland port in Oyo state,” he said.
Speaking on the division in the party, the Chairman of the Party, Senator Iyochia Ayu pledged his commitment to reunite all members of the PDP. “Sometimes in a family, you have people who are unhappy but as the father of the party, I will bring all aggrieved members back home.”
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