***Presidential Campaign Council Inaugurated
Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
There was a mild drama in Abuja on Thursday as the social media rumor over the alleged existence of a ‘Jubril’ got a boost at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, was even forced to wade into the rumor at the peak of his speech.The drama began about an hour into the opening ceremony of the meeting when a sudden loud voice was heard saying “Jubril must go”
In very swift response to the voice, Atiku asked “which Jubril? Is it the one in Sudan or the one in Abuja?”This was followed by spontaneous and massive laughter from NEC members and other persons present at the meeting.The social media has been awashed with rumour of the existence of a Jubril particularly at the corridors of power.
Speaking further, Atiku made it clear that he is ready to engage President Muhammadu Buhari in a debate on key national issues.
Just last week, the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisation Nigeria (BON) announced that the presidential debate has been fixed for January 19, 2019, while vice-presidential candidates are billed to have their debate on December 14, 2018.
Chairman of BON, Mr John Momoh (OON), who made the announcement, said the debates will be aired on all BON member radio and television stations across the country and also streamed on social media platforms.
The former vice president also disclosed that if elected, his administration would enthroned a regime of strict adherence to the principles of fiscal responsibility in the country.He equally restated his commitment to galvanizing all efforts to liberate the nation from the shackles of hunger, deprivations, killing and divisiveness.
“Our aim is to work very hard and collectively liberate our nation from the shackles of hunger, starvation, deprivation, bloodletting, killings and division which bedevil us today. We must all work hard to return our nation to the path of harmony, peace and progress” he said.
He assured of a new template for fiscal responsibility and productivity in all critical sectors of our national life.He further assured that he has a running mate that is honest and reputed to have a very high sense of fiscal responsibility and transparency in governance.
He was full of praises for the National Working Committee of the party for displaying high commitment to fiscal responsibility by showing party leaders all the details of income and expenditure of all the money realized and spent in the convention held in Port Harcourt .
“I have never seen such a fiscal responsibility by any political party. I said to them, that this has posed a very big challenge should we win and we must win the Presidential election, that we will have to enthrone the best fiscal responsibility this country has ever known or ever seen, simply because our party has given us that leadership.”
“We have built up so much momentum after the port Harcourt convention but we also witnessed a lull. It is now time for us to pick up the momentum again until we land in ASO villa.”
The PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus, in a remark said the party has lost confidence in the ability of the National Chairman, of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to guarantee free and fair election.He insisted that both of them should immediately resign their positions in the interest of peace.
Secondus also warned that the PDP would not accept the outcome of a rigged election just as he added that there would be a national crisis should the 2019 election be rigged.
In a comment, the Senate President and Director-General of the PDP presidential campaign council, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, urged party leaders to remain united and strong as they prepare for the election.
“The people are with us and when the people are with us, God is with us, we will do it, we will succeed. I emphasise that we must stay strong because it is not going to be easy. Let us remember when we were going for the convention this room was vibrating,there was tension in the country and people never believed that it was possible because it has never happened where people will go to a primary and come out with not even one person disagreeing.
” I have said it many atimes that APC is not our opponent on the ballot paper, it is the security agents that are opponent on the ballot paper. If you talk to 10 Nigerians today they will tell you yes your party is popular but they will rig it. What does that mean? We must stand, we must stand for free and credible election. We must stand for an election where people have the right to vote.
He reiterated that ” if election is not free and credible, you are creating crisis in the country,”Also yesterday, the PDP inaugurated its Presidential campaign council with Secondus as chairman and Atiku as co-chair man.
Former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, is co-deputy chairman.National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, is the head of Media and Publicity for the campaign council.
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