Ahead of Saturday’s presidential election People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has made an audacious promise which got Lagosians up and jumping with broad smiles on their faces.
The All Progressive Congress (APC) under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari spent majority of its four years in power chasing corruption without much success but Atiku has promised to revive the country’s ailing economy and make Lagos the commercial capital of Africa.
This he made known in front of a massive cheering crowd at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, venue of the PDP presidential rally, Atiku said as a Lagos boy, he passed through the hustle and bustle of the Centre of Excellence.
The PDP candidate added he had never reneged on any promise, noting that he would restructure the country and ensure true federalism. A vote for him, he said, is a vote for job security and end to unemployment.
“I am not like the All Progressive Congress (APC) that makes empty promises. I promise Nigerians that I will restructure the country; I will do it.
“I promise to create jobs, I will do it. Today, the country is writhing in insecurity. Initially, insecurity was limited to the Northeast, but had spread to the Northwest and Northcentral.
“I promise to reverse all these trends. I promise to work with the National Assembly, protect the judiciary and respect the rule of law, if I become the President.
“You also saw for yourself when President Muhammadu Buhari came to Lagos, all the trailers disappeared on the Ojuelegba and Apapa bridges, but immediately he left, they come back. It means the traffic issue in Lagos can be addressed.”
PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus said the party was sure of victory on Saturday. He noted that the trend of the PDP rallies across the country was favourable.
“Today, we are in the Centre of Excellence and commercial nerve of Nigeria. You saw what happened in Kano, Katsina, the Northwest, Northcentral and Southwest. Everywhere PDP campaigns, the whole place was shut down.
“The man the PDP is putting forward is competent and can do the job. He will bring his full ability to rescue the country. Our financial and business climate will boom again.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki said a vote for Atiku is a vote for better economy and better life. He noted that when Atiku is given the mandate on Saturday, the country would start a new journey for progress.
He said the PDP candidate had the capacity to revamp the economy and hence, create massive jobs for citizens.
Saraki claimed that the APC government had brought sufferings to the country, urging Lagos residents to reject the ruling party at the polls.
Atiku’s running mate Peter Obi said the PDP was the best bet for the country’s progress and the citizens’ well-being.
He urged Nigerians to cast their votes for the party on February 16 and March 2 “for a better Nigeria”.
Agbaje, in his speech, said the PDP and Atiku had solutions to all the problems bedevilling the country. He said it was time Lagos State freed itself from what he called the political hegemony of people with vested interests and embrace a government that truly cares.
He said if elected, he would deliver service and provides the real governance that residents deserved.
Director-General, Atiku Campaign Organisation Gbenga Daniel said some Yoruba, who had been in the forefront of restructuring have backed out.
He noted that Atiku was committed to ensure the country was made better, noting that it would start manifesting immediately he was elected.
The Lagos PDP candidates contesting for the various offices were presented with the flag of the party at the campaign.
Some hoodlums attempted to disrupt the rally. A fight broke out among a group of miscreants, who found their way into the arena.
The incident, which happened at about 1.50pm, saw the miscreants throwing punches and chairs at each other. It was not immediately clear what caused the fight. Those around the place fled, as policemen chased the hoodlums around the premises. It happened when flags were being presented to candidates for National Assembly positions.
This was despite the heavy security presence as everyone was body searched before being allowed into the TBS before the event began.
However, some boys were seen smoking within TBS, while drink sellers were allowed to sell assorted alcohol.
Also present at the event are former PDP Deputy National Chairman Chief Olabode George; Atiku’s wife, Titi; former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose; Ogun State PDP governorship candidate Ladi Adebutu and former Kogi State Governor Idris Wada.
Other are former Minister of State Defence Erelu Olusola Obada, PDP chieftain Doyin Okupe, former Majority Leader House of Representatives Mulikat Adeola, Senator Ben Bruce, Southwest Vice Chairman PDP Eddy Olafeso, Oba Olateru Olagbegi, Lagos PDP Chieftain Adedeji Doherty, former Minister of Integration and Cooperation in Africa Abimbola Ogunkelu, among others.