Thousands of members and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party on Friday trooped into Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, to welcome the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who was in the state to campaign ahead of the 2019 elections.
Our correspondent observed that many of the people who were there to receive the former Vice President and his entourage were members of ‘Friends of Atiku’, a support group led by the member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Linus Okorie.
The group, who wore branded shirts with the pictures of Abubakar and his running mate, Peter Obi, and that of the lawmaker, first marched through major streets of Abakaliki with posters and placards before storming Pa Ngele Oruta township Stadium, venue of the rally.
The solidarity march attracted commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists, who joined the group in the parade around Abakiliki metropolis.
In his speech, Atiku commended the leaders, members and supporters of the party in the state for coming out to welcome him. He noted that there was no doubt that the state was completely in support of the PDP.
Atiku assured the people of the state that his government would bring development to all parts of the South-East.
He said, “To the people of the South-East zone, I don’t know what will happen in the future. But let me tell you that this is your best time to align with the movement that will usher in great opportunities for you and your generation unborn.
“You have the Vice President who is a southeasterner and you have the wife of the President who is a southeasterner and that means, you have two over three.
“Therefore, this is your best opportunity and I appeal to you to come out and vote for the PDP.”
While commending the state governor, David Umahi, for his leadership style, Atiku noted that the greatest transformation of Ebonyi had been done by the governor.
He added that Ebonyi State would never be marginalised again in the country.
“I want to thank him for his leadership style and I want to also say that the people of the Ebonyi State have been loyal to the PDP and the PDP has been loyal to Ebonyi. All you have got in this state was made available by the PDP.
“Ebonyi will never be marginalised in this country again. I have been to many states in this country and I have not seen this kind of mobilisation anywhere,” Abubakar said.
Speaking at the event, Umahi, who doubles as the South-East Coordinator of Atiku/Obi Campaign Organisation, assured that the state would vote massively for the PDP presidential candidate and his running mate, Obi.
According to Umahi, people have often mistaken his friendly relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari to mean that he has been working against his party, the PDP.
Stressing that it was high time Nigerians separated politics from friendship, he said, “Ebonyi is for the PDP and the PDP is for Ebonyi.”
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