Presidential candidate of People Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, took a swipe at the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), when he accused leaders of the ruling party of gathering in Abuja to treat themselves to sumptuous dinner in the name of a meeting, while innocent worshippers died needlessly in Owo, Ondo State.
He, therefore, called on the Nigerian people to stand with him as volunteers to reclaim the country from the challenges currently befalling it.
According to a statement titled: “Why you need to stand with me at the front”, the former vice president said, it was disconcerting that on the very day, when the whole of the country and the rest of the world was in a sober mood, on account of the massacre in Owo, Ondo State, the ruling APC could not find the moral rectitude to cancel a dinner with their presidential aspirants, slated for the evening of Sunday, 5 June.
“Needless to say that the so-called primary election is standing on the backdrop of the reported claim of President Muhammadu Buhari to be given an opportunity to handpick his successor.
“With blood of innocent worshippers flowing on the street of the Sunshine state, leaders of the APC are gathered in Abuja, treating themselves to sumptuous dinner in a manner that suggests lack of empathy to the mood of the nation,” Atiku said.
To that extent, Atiku said, “Since the convention of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, last weekend, I have continued to enjoy the support and expression of goodwill by party leaders, members and even my co-contestants after the election.
“I am happy to inform you that in my private conversations with these leaders, the PDP is ready to face the next general election as ONE UNITED force.
“As the presidential flag bearer, my responsibility is not just to ensure that our party returns to power in the presidential election, it is my expectation that I can count on your support to see it through that the PDP wins majority in federal legislative seats, and in all gubernatorial and states’ legislative elections.
“It is a herculean task, no doubts about it. But, I know that with your support, the PDP can return to the winning ways. You may want to ask what are the implications of the PDP winning the general election?
“Voting for the PDP in the next general election means that you would have done your own part in ensuring that we work together as ONE PEOPLE with ONE FUTURE towards building ONE COUNTRY.
“A PDP victory in 2023 elections means securing our unity as a country and protecting our security and economy, in addition to the enablement of cohesive national development. The other political party will come to you with their usual cocktail of deception.
“But this is not a time that the country can entertain their empty promises. Their scorecard of failure in the past seven years is the only hard fact that you must continue to show to them whenever they come around. That is the only truth about them: their scorecard of failure!
“But we cannot reward their failure with an automatic promotion. They have failed us and we must punish them with our votes. With me in the front together with several other leaders of the PDP and with your support, we will get Nigeria back on winning ways.
“But why stay at the back when you can stand at the front with me in this historic patriotic mission? You can stand with me at the front by signing up as a volunteer in my campaign by opening this link.
“You may want to tell your friends about the volunteer portal too and together we all get recruited into an army of patriots to reclaim and rescue Nigeria,” he stated.
He, however, said if the charade that the APC called a presidential convention primary election was merely to handpick an anointed candidate, it was important to ask the managers of the ruling party why they elected to slate the so-called convention for a working day, thereby disrupting economic activities around the Federal Capital Territory.
His words: “Even as delegates in the so-called election entered into the Federal Capital Territory, they must have been greeted with long queues of vehicles waiting to buy automobile fuel and darkness that continues to grim the capital city on account of seizures in electricity supply.
“Should the APC delegates ask themselves what they have been brought to Abuja for, they should know that primaries of their party is not about any of the individuals vying for the presidential ticket of their party, but a referendum on the APC scorecard in the past 7 years.
“Should the delegates be honest with themselves about the current state of affairs in the country under the watch of their party, they ought to know that allowing the APC to remain in power one more day after May 29, next year is an unpatriotic decision to make.
“For residents of the FCT, who have been inundated with everyday stress as a result of bad governance by the ruling party, the choice of crucial working days – Monday and Tuesday – as days for the primaries of the APC is a callous and insensitive decision.
“It needs no mention that whoever is ‘handpicked’ as the APC presidential candidate in such despotic process cannot be any different from the authoritarian fervor of the APC establishment,” he stated.