Despite the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party will officially kick off its presidential election campaign on Monday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The venue is the 30,000-sitting capacity Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
Nyesom Wike Group is calling for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu to pave way for a Southerner since Atiku Abubakar, the party’s Presidential Candidate hails from Northern part of the country in line with PDP constitution.
Speaking with journalists Saturday, Comrade Borono Bassey, the PDP’s publicity secretary, said Governor Udom Emmanuel, who doubles as the chairman, Atiku Abubakar Campaign Council; party supporters and other stakeholders were in high spirits to host the event.
Bassey said besides Emmanuel chairing the council, the choice of Akwa Ibom as a take-off point was borne out of it being an ardent PDP state since the return of democracy with positive imprints of developments by successive administrations in the state since 1999.
“Everything is in place, we are ready. It is important to state here, and categorically so, that the choice of Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital as the venue for the flag-off of the PDP presidential campaign is very significant given the fact that since the formation of the PDP in 1998 and the return to democratic rule in 1999, Akwa Ibom people have successively been choosing the PDP as the platform through which all leaders must emerge.
“This continuous patriotic choice by our people through the years till now has given birth to the massive infrastructure renaissance that Akwa Ibom has come to be reputed for.
“Today, Akwa Ibom is an oasis of progress and a model for good governance, especially with the very result-oriented efforts Governor Udom Emmanuel has made in erecting solid pillars of development across the important sectors of our state’s economy.
“And so I have the strong conviction that one of the messages that the PDP will be sending to Nigerians as we flag off our presidential campaigns in Uyo on Monday will be that Akwa Ibom as well as other PDP states are testaments of the magnificent achievements that the PDP will record when Nigerians elect Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as president,” he said.
Ologunagba speaks on PDP readiness
The party’s Secretary of National Publicity, Debo Ologunagba, said PDP is fully prepared for an issue-based campaign and presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and his running mate Ifeanyi Okowa are fully “articulated” for the campaign.
He explained that the PPD intends to campaign in all states, local government areas, districts and voting units across the country under the unified campaign structure approved by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
“Our campaign will be powered by the people and will be centred around the mission of the PDP and Atiku to rescue, rebuild and redirect our nation from the abysmal misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” he said.
The PDP, like other parties, has spent the last few weeks making preparations and appointments in different committees.
The party’s Presidential Campaign Council recently appointed 17 members as directors in the National Campaign Management Committee (NCMC).
Atiku also recently named former party spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan as one of his campaign spokesmen.
Briefing reporters, Mr Ologunagba said after consultations across the country’s six geopolitical zones, “It became clear that Nigerians across the board, regardless of religion, ethnicity and even political affiliations, accept Atiku Abubakar as the best candidate with the practical experience, ability, breadth of vision, and willpower to unite our nation, renew the national economy, and ensure the safety of life and property in the country.”
Some of the reasons he gave as to why Nigerians love Atiku is that during his time as Vice President, he “achieved unprecedented national productivity, obtained $30 billion in total debt relief from the Paris and London Clubs, Nigeria’s economy was revamped to become one of the fastest growing.” The world’s economies with stable exchange rates and foreign exchange reserves increased from $2 billion in 1999 to $43 billion in 2007.
“Power generation has also increased from an average daily generating capacity of 1,800 MW in 1999 to 4,000 MW in 2007,” he said. “Our country witnessed the liberalization of the telecommunication industry and the arrival of GSM and Internet facilities in Nigeria. Nigeria achieved one of the most profitable stock markets in the world with an average return on investment of over 31%.”
The campaigns for the 2023 general elections officially started on September 28 according to the schedule and schedule of activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).