ASABA: Vice-Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor of Delta, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has called for total rejection of Muslim-Muslim ticket in the forthcoming presidential election to mitigate religious intolerance and ensure unity in the country.
He made the call at the PDP’s presidential rally in Umuahia, and urged the South-East people to stick with the party for Nigeria’s recovery and good governance. Okowa charged Abia citizens to work hard for the party’s victory, pointing out that Nigerians had embraced PDP “and those in South East cannot afford to be in opposition anymore”.
“I say this with all seriousness because Atiku Abubakar will win the presidential election and PDP will return to power at the federal level and when that happens, we want to ensure that Abia State is counted.
“We know that the South East has suffered a lot under the APC and that is why Atiku said he would unite Nigerians and ensure that every part of the country is carried along.
“We want to restore the dignity of the Igbo man and by the grace of God, when Atiku Abubakar and I become president and vice president, we will be able to ensure that the construction of railway from Port Harcourt to Aba and Ikot-Ekpene is done.
“Atiku is a man who is fair to all and he will work for all Nigerians, including Christians and Muslims to make life better for all.
“We say no to a Muslim-Muslim ticket because that is not good enough for our country Nigeria. We can work together to make Christians and Muslims live peacefully in this country.
“Let me assure you that the Igbos will benefit from the principal positions due to each of the six geopolitical zones,” he said.
He urged to vote for PDP to “take APC out” but remarked that in taking APC out, the opposition must be united to fight the battle.
“Let me reiterate that Atiku will raise $10 million dollars to support businesses across the country; so, we must support him because he is the candidate that is best positioned to win the elections and rebuild our country,” Okowa added.
On his part, the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said that his quest for PDP to rescue and rebuild the country was not based on ethnic or religious cards but was to provide Nigerians with good governance.
He recalled that the country prospered when PDP was in charge from 1999 to 2015 and urged the people of Abia and the entire South East to join hands with the party to return Nigeria to the part of glory.
The presidential candidate expressed optimism that the people would come out to cast their votes for the PDP in the forthcoming elections, adding that “PDP is going to win and therefore it is better you are on a winning ticket than a ticket that cannot take you anywhere.
“Do not be distracted by other political parties playing religious or ethnic card. In PDP, we have no religious or ethnic card, we play a Nigerian card, a card that will bring everybody on board and bring a sense of belonging to every part of this country.
“I appeal to you Abians to make sure you remain PDP and PDP remains Abia’s party. I have seen the number of requests you have made and they fall within our policy which we tagged ‘My Covenant with Nigerians’.
“The issue of railways and rehabilitation of federal roads is also there. Aba is the capital of South-East as far as business is concerned.
“I remembered addressing businessmen in this city in 2019 and I assured them that we will set aside funds to rehabilitate and support businesses, particularly in this part of the country,” he stated.
He promised to ensure operationalization of the Abia Dry Port which he approved while in office as vice-president and assured that PDP was prepared to give Abia people what they wanted.
“It is not an issue of ethnicity or religion; it is about good governance. You can bear us witness that when PDP was leading, Nigeria was prospering and that is the time Nigeria became the biggest economy in Africa.
“We created more jobs and more prosperity for everybody in this country. We brought about peace and there was unity and there was not a question of people crying over marginalisation because we created a balanced leadership in this country, so you have no reason not to vote for PDP,” Atiku said.
National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, urged the people to vote for the PDP to rescue and rebuild the country from the ruins of the APC-led Federal Government.
He said “voting Labour Party will not help you rather it will help Bola Tinubu who will again marginalise you for another eight years and am sure that is not what you want.
“The PDP is the only alternative because it is an organic party owned by the people and not any individual.
“The APC thrives in distortion of truth, propaganda and lies and I repeat here today in Umuahia that APC has brought shame to all Nigerians.
“The APC came and made things difficult for the people; they brought hardship to Nigerians and I call on you to unite and let’s send them packing,” Ayu stated.
Former vice-president Namadi Sambo; chairman, board of trustees, Senator Adolphus Wagbara; chairman, Presidential Campaign Council and Governor of Akwa-Ibom, Udom Emmanuel; director-general of the Presidential Campaign Council and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, Abia State Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Chukwu; PDP Governorship Candidate in Abia, Chief Okey Ahiwe,, among others, attended the rally.