Recently, the PDP presidential campaign train’s tour of Kaduna State. ISAIAH BENJAMIN captures the events that charasterised the campaign.
The Kaduna PDP presidential campaign rally had initial uncertainty as to which venue it was going to hold, while some said the venue was the Kaduna international trade fair complex, others where of the view that it would take place at the Kaduna township stadium.
Just as other rumours has it that it was going to hold at the Mohammed Murtala Square. The uncertainty of the venue spread across the state like a wild fire until at about 4pm when the news went round the state that finally the Ahmadu Bello Stadium same venue used by the APC candidate President Muhammadu Buhari was approved.
In view of the lateness of the approval, a visit to the Ahmadu Bello Stadium at about 6pm Wednesday the 23rd February 2019 saw people saddled with the responsibilities of decoration and setting the stages were busy working, and it was learnt that they worked all through the night.
On the 24th February 2019 which was the actual campaign day and as early as 7am party members started to troop into the stadium which was beautifully adorned with the PDP flags, posters and banners. Also, those coming with their goods for sales also began to erect their tents and take strategic positions while party praise singers where also on ground playing and singing all manner of songs in support of their various candidates on the PDP platform.
At about 11 am the stadium was almost filled to capacity with musicians such as the popular Sani Danja entertaining the audience who were patiently seated awaiting the party’s presidential candidate and his entourage. Albeit, the Presidential candidate did not arrive the venue until at about 2pm.
It was gathered however that the Presidential candidate and his entourage had to pay a courtesy visit on the Emir of Zazzau for royal blessings and support. When the former vice President and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) finally arrived the.venue, the enyire atmospher more alive as people syaryed to chant ‘sai Atiku, akwore yunwa meaning hunger muwt be driven away by voting Atiku.
Then personalities began to take turns in making speeches which all centred on conversing support for all the candidates of the PDP from the presidency down to the State Houses of Assemblies.
The presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the wazirin Adamawa who was the last to speak spared no words when he told the mammoth crowd that gathered at the main bowl of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium that the All Progressive Congress (APC) and its candidate President Muhammadu Buhari has failed the country and should be voted out come February 16th.
He said the APC as a party has failed to keep to her promises and should no longer be trusted with power, hence called on the good people of Kaduna State and Nigeria at large to vote for him and all the other candidates of the PDP. The Wazirin Adamawa accused the APC of subjecting Nigerians to hunger and making Nigeria the headquarters of poverty and promised to change the narrative if voted into power.
“I wish to say that during the era of PDP, Nigerians were not hungry, the economy was not bastardized and Nigeria and Nigerians were more united compared to what it is now.
“ I urge you to vote for PDP candidates from up to down and from down to up and together we will make Nigeria working again”.
Corroborating the presidential hopeful’s position, former Vice President Namadi Sambo, immediate past PDP caretaker Chairman and Presidential aspirant Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, immediate past governor of the State Mukhtar Ramalan Yero and the Kaduna State Governorship candidate of the PDP Isa Ashiru all called on the electorate to come out in their numbers to vote the candidates of the PDP for a secured future and make sure that their votes are protected. When it was time for the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being too weak to rule and should not be returned to power. He called on Nigerians to allow President Buhari to go home and rest because the energy to provide the required leadership is no longer there, ‘the energy is no longer there” he said.
“ Baba has tried, he needs to go and rest, he has been sleeping on duty, we need somebody with energy. Voting back APC is to further empower the cabals.We need someone with experience in both private and economy sectors, someone with competency and capacity, because Buhari has failed, Atiku will not sleep until there is food on the table of every Nigerian.
“ Let me reiterate that PMB is weak to rule and we advice him to go and rest “ he stressed.”Let me sound this note of warning to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that any attempt to rig the forth coming elections will be resisted accordingly, all their wayo and wuruwuru cannot work”.
On his part, the Senate President and Campaign director general of the Atiku Presidential campaign told the crowd tjat the years of APC lies is over. He said APC promised to provide security but has failed with insecurity now extended to the Northwest and North Central as against when it was only in North East.
“ The unemployment rate now has grown to over 10 million under the APC regime and Nigeria is now the headquarters of poverty..The years of APC lies is over, we want a better and secured country and Atiku has what it takes to make Nigeria work again, let us vote Atiku for a better and working Nigeria” he said.
The Presidential campaign team also held series of meeting with various stakeholders where it canvassed for support. In one of the meetings with the Kannywood, the presidential candidate promised to uplift the standard of the Kano based film industry, Kannywood, if elected into power in the forthcoming election. Atiku who was represented by the Senate President and his campaign director, Bukola Saraki at kannywood Interactive Section, Atiku said he would support the film industry financially like it was the case during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said, “Let me thank you because this programme was scheduled to hold in Kano, but we asked you to shift it to Kaduna, and you did. Atiku is one of you. During Jonathan you were given N200 million support. But APC government forgot you. But I want to assure you that when Atiku comes on board, he will support you. He will provide jobs for you and help you. I am appealing to you to go out on February 16 and vote for Atiku”
In that meeting that had almost 200 Kannywood actors, actresses and singers under the leadership of Sani Danja who all declared their support to mobilize support for the PDP presidential candidate, the PDP National Chairman Prince Secondus promised them that Atiku is elected will address the challenges affecting the entertainment industry. One of the Kannywood member, Yakubu Mohammed who spoke on behalf of Kannywood said, “We need energetic leaders in this country. And Atiku is the leader after heart. Kannywood is suffering from poor quality production and lack of market for its production.
We still remember how the former President Goodluck Jonathan encouraged the film industry financially to the tune of N200 million.
“We are appealing to Atiku to support us if he comes to power. So our support is for Atiku, and by the special grace of God, Atiku will be the next of President. We will vote for Atiku”.