The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyiorcha Ayu, has boasted that its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will shock Nigerians during the 2023 elections by winning with a landslide margin of seven million votes.
He stated this while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting held on Wednesday at the Multi-Purpose Indoor Sports Hall, Bauchi.
Atiku had earlier received thousands of defectors from the All Progressives Congress and other political parties, at a ceremony held the same day at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi.
Our correspondent reports that Abubakar was flanked by his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa; the National Chairman of the party, Iyiorcha Ayu; Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal and former Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Governors of Bauchi, Bala Mohammed; Adamawa, Umaru Fintiri and that of Taraba, Darius Ishaku, and their deputies were also in attendance.
Former governors of Jigawa, Sule Lamido; Adamawa, Boni Haruna and Gombe, Ibrahim Dankwambo; former Senate President, Bukola Saraki; among other dignitaries, were also present.
However, none of the governors and the PDP chieftains loyal to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, was in attendance at the rally.
Addressing the stakeholders from the North-East, Ayu said that the PDP did not want to be strong on social media nor did it want to be strong based on manipulated images on television.
He, however, confessed that he had fears that the venue of the rally would be empty with people refusing to attend.
He said, “While we were coming here today, I was apprehensive that perhaps, when we come, the North-East will not come out. A political party is the people, it is not just the leaders, sometimes, we lay too much emphasis on the leaders.
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“Today, we see that the PDP is the strongest party in Nigeria. Those who have been building imaginary rallies; today, it was not a rally, it was a reception but we saw the number of people that came out like bees. That is to tell you that the PDP is strong on the ground, we don’t want to be strong on social media, we don’t want to be strong only on manipulated images on television, we want to see the real people.”
Ayu admonished the people to come out en masse and vote for all the candidates of the PDP from the State Assembly to the President in order to shame the enemies of the party who had been doing all they could to divide the party and had been lying that the party was divided.
“And today, it was clear that the PDP is a strong party. There are enemies of the party who are determined to cause division among us, who are telling lies about divisions in the PDP.
“I want to assure you that they will be disappointed because at the end of the day, this party will come up en masse and vote for all our candidates from bottom to top, not from top to bottom but from the bottom to the top – all our House and National Assembly candidates, and all our governors will come back to office.
“And of course, having stayed out of power for eight years, the PDP is marching massively to Aso Villa with President Atiku Abubakar. He will resume back to the place where he has experience there as a Vice President and assisted ably, by Vice President Ifeanyi Okowa,” he stated.
The PDP National Chairman added that: “In a presidential election, if you don’t win Bauchi, you can’t win the presidency, and we are very sure that with what we saw today; the massive mobilisation that has been done, we are certainly on our way to victory.
“Atiku is your son, the North-East has never had a President before and yet, when democracy started, the North-East led the way with Alhaji Tafawa Balewa. Power is returning to the North-East, vote for your son, come out en masse, it is not enough to come for the rally.
“All of you should have a Permanent Voter Card make sure you campaign at your polling unit, don’t campaign only at rallies, we don’t want people in Abuja, everybody must go back home to his polling unit. On that day (election day), we will shock Nigerians, the victory margin is going to be seven million votes.
Atiku Abubakar will move to the Villa and we will rescue the country from all the damages that the present government has done. We have suffered insecurity in the North-East, you are suffering from hunger, you are suffering from diseases. The PDP under the leadership of President Atiku Abubakar will correct these ills.”