Tony Okafor, Awka
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has described the Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, as a trusted partner he would need to move Nigeria forward if elected in 2023.
He said that his relationship with Soludo was beyond partisan politics but a commitment to undertake reforms in the Nigerian economy.
Atiku stated this on Thursday at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Anambra State where he and his running mate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa were recieved in audience by Soludo en route the PDP presidential rally at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, the state capital.
Soludo is a governor on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance ( APGA).
Speaking during the visit Atiku said, “This is beyond party politics. There should be a consensus on how we move forward and I consider Governor Soludo as a partner in that respect.
“It is my singular respect and honour for him to receive me in the state. In spite of our different political affiliations, there should be some core values we should agree to towards the development of our country.
“I thank Governor Soludo for going beyond party politics. He didn’t shut the gate against us. We are all partners in our reform agenda as far as Nigeria is concerned.
“The Governor personally told me he was not available in the state but had to find a way back to receive me. I thank him for the opportunity and wish for God’s blessings upon his life and upon Anambra State.
In his speech, Soludo said development of Nigeria should be the utmost priority for any politician or candidate.
He said Nigeria was bigger than any political party and the business of building the country was bigger than any politician.
Soludo added, “In this business of building Nigeria, Anambra and Igboland should be an open place for anyone.Just give us your proposition and tell us how you will fix the country.
“I am very glad you are here to canvass for votes and I believe our people will listen carefully to every word you have to tell them.
“Our orientation is to have a level playing field for everyone.Politics is about development and we want the South-East to feel this development.
“Reconciliation and Reconstruction are what we haven’t come to terms with.
The federal highways constructed in the Shagari era are no longer motorable. My administration is already spending few billions on federal roads.
“The bottom line is that we want to change the life of the average citizen.
Our people are all ears. We pray for you, for Nigeria and wish you the very best of luck.
At the Alex Ekwueme PDP rally, Atiku promised to help the Igbo produce president of the country after his tenure, adding that he would also make the Onitsha port functional if elected as president in 2023.
He said, ” On our arrival today we visited Governor Soludo and he said to me that he believe that I will work when I win.
So, he urged me to reconstruct the federal roads and control erosion menace in the state, as Anambra is regarded as erosion headquarters in the country. And I promised him I will do that.
“I also promise to dredge the River Niger and make sure the Onitsha port becomes functional, if you vote in PDP in 2023. We shall also industrialise the state to create jobs for our youths.
Atiku said he would be the stepping stone to actualise Igbo presidency if elected in 2023.
“I’m going to be the stepping stone to Igbo presidency. I have shown it by my actions because this is the third time I will be contesting with an Igbo man as my running mate.
“If you really want to produce a president, then vote Atiku/Okowa. I thank you for this wonderful reception and we promise not to disappoint you.
Speaking, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, running mate to the PDP presidential candidate, commended party leaders for the high level of campaign in the communities of Anambra.
Okowa said,”We are appealing to you all to vote for PDP in the general election. Our presidential candidate, Atiku, is the most experienced among all the candidates contesting, and he is determined to transform Nigeria for good.
In his speech, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, National Chairmanbof PDP, urged the electorate to vote massively for PDP, describing Anambra as a PDP state and not All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Ayu said,”PDP started in Anambra with our leader, Dr Alex Ekwuene. So Anambra is PDP not APGA. APGA is a son to PDP and in future we shall bring APGA back to their home which is PDP.
“The Igbo people, particularly in Anambra are stakeholders in Nigeria because there is no village you will go in this country that you will not see an Igbo man. This makes them more national people in Nigeria.
“I beg you to vote PDP because we have a very competent candidate, who is a businessman like you and also your in-law. Sometimes, your in-law is better than your son.
“So, go get your permanent voter cards and vote for Atiku/Okowa. This team will solve Nigeria’s security problems, stabilise and transform the climate this country,”he said.