The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has reiterated his pledge to set aside US$10 billion for women and youth empowerment when elected President in next month’s election.
Atiku made the pledge while addressing party supporters, in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State Capital on Tuesday.
The PDP Presidential candidate also mocked the Ekiti State Government for failing in its alleged attempt to frustrate party supporters from attending his campaign rally.
He promised to tap into the rich intellectual endowment of the state population to run his administration if elected.
According to him, Ekiti state enjoys a pride of place as the Centre of intellectualism in Nigeria with a population of more educated persons than anywhere else in the country.
Atiku said, “Ekiti State is the center of intellectual discuss, you have more educated people in this state than any other state in the country.
“I can assure you that a PDP federal government will make use of the human capital that God has endowed you with in Ekiti, it is your God given gift and we shall utilize that human resources that God has given you.
“Besides we want to make sure that particularly our young men and women have businesses to do, have sources of income.
“That is why I pledge to set aside Ten Billion US dollars so that those young men and women who want to get involved in enterprises will be given loans and capital so that they can achieve their life time ambition.
“When I came here today what I saw almost brought tears to my eyes, when we came here some people said we are not going to see anybody in Ekiti, we realized what they meant was to cripple public transportation in Ado- Ekiti and the whole of Ekiti state.“
He further said, “Again they did not stop there, they also caused an artificial scarcity of Petroleum products so that even if you have your motorcycle, your car, you will not be able move.
“So that they can stop people from coming here, but you braved all their challenges. When I came into this arena, I almost shed tears of joy.
“What I can assure you is that if you vote PDP into power, the way you have made us happy today, we will also make you happy in Ekiti state.
“We will go out of our way to provide you with everything that you want us to provide, some people were talking about the road from here to Akure, we will do it and all the roads that connects Ekiti state with other states we shall construct them.
“Today has been a wonderful day, happy day and I want to assure you that we will be with you through out the campaign period and we will make sure that on the election day whatever you may need to make sure that you go to vote, protect your vote is made available to you.“
Also speaking at the event, the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyiorchia Ayu, took a swipe at the ruling All Progressives Congress for lacking the basic tenets of democracy in the conduct of government business.
Ayu said, “We have a political party that does nor believe in democracy, if you believe in democracy you allow other political parties to express also themselves.
“We understand the enemies without and the enemies within decided that there will be be no vehicular movement in Ekiti State today, but you disappointed them because you are committed to the rescue and building of our country.
“Nobody can stop you from librating yourselves from this type of leadership that we have from outside or without the PDP family. They may stop you from moving but they can’t stop you from voting. A few days from today you will have the opportunity to rescue Ekiti.”
Also the Vice Presidential Candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa said, “It is time to bring back a government that cares for the people. The high level of insecurity is not for the Nigeria we are talking about, the disunity in the country today, that is not the Nigeria of our dream.
“The way they have destroyed the education of this country, that was not what we hoped for and now our people are hungry, they can’t have employment. Everything is going bad, industries are packing, everything is getting expensive, that is not the Nigeria of our dream.
“We want as a party to begin the process to recreate a new Nigeria, where everybody will be happy, where people will get employed, where our youths can have hope for their future and when they are leaving the school, they know that there is something in stock for them to do. This is what Atiku Abubakar has promised us.“
In his remarks, the Director General of the PDP Campaign and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwual, said, “This movement is about the people, it is not about any individual, it is about this country, it is about our freedom.
“We know that the people of Ekiti state are intellectually endowed. Hardly you find a family without a professor in Ekiti state. No individual can dictate for you.
“You know your rights and you are exercising those rights through your freedom movement and freedom of association.
We appeal to you that you must continue with this momentum and deliver Ekiti state for PDP.
“When Atiku Abubakar comes on board, he will by the grace of God, strength the Copy Rights Commission so that all of the innovations, all of the intellectual works by the people of Ekiti state and other Nigerians will be given due protection by the administration of Atiku Abubakar because we appreciate your intellectual prowess, we appreciate your intellectual capacity and that of every Nigerian.”