The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has again declared his commitment to restructuring the country, especially devolution of more powers and resources to states.
Atiku, who spoke on Monday at the presidential campaign rally of the PDP held at the iconic Oxbowl Lake Pavillion, Swali in Yengoa, Bayelsa State capital promised to end the lingering fuel crisis in the country by building more refineries.
Describing Bayelsa as a PDP state that has produced governors and president, he also assured the mammoth crowd that thronged the campaign ground that his administration would tackled the incessant strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU in the country by increasing funding for the education sector.
He said: “I want to remind you, since the beginning of democracy in 1999, Bayelsa State has been PDP and PDP has been Bayelsa. Everything you see in Bayelsa State today was provided by PDP government. Therefore, I am calling on you the people of Bayelsa State not to make the mistake of leaving PDP. You have provided governors and president and many more shall come. So the future of Bayelsa State and Nigeria is tied to PDP.
“I want to appeal to you, if you have listened to my programmes, I said I am committed to implementing five key programmes in this country, starting with the unification of this country because this country has never been this divided along a number of frontiers. I am going to give every part of this country a sense of belonging in the next PDP government.
“I promise to tackle insecurity, here in Bayelsa State, you have faced a number of security challenges, you have lost so many people due to breaches in law and order, I promised I will restore security in this country.
“Thirdly, I said I am going to tackle the economy of this country. The PDP government if you recalled from 1999 to 2015 we had the best economy in Africa but the APC has come and pushed us back and brought us down. We promise that we will tackle the economy and make sure we provide jobs and opportunities for our young men and women to be gainfully employed either in the private or public sector.
“Again we promise that we will never see any more ASUU strike, we will devolved a lot of resources to education to make sure that our young men and women are properly educated and continue to go to school without any interruption.
“Finally, we will restructure this country so that you people, we will give you more resources and more powers to deal with your governance, so you don’t go begging the Federal Government to come and do things for you when you are actually producing the resources of the country, so we will devolve more powers and resources to the Niger Delta.”
These are the key areas of our developmental programmes. “I appeal for your support and understanding, cooperation so that we can achieve all these goals,” he declared.
In his remarks, the vice presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, said the the PDP has never lost any presidential election since 1999 till date, adding that Bayelsa State and the Niger Delta States must give PDP a minimum of 700,000 and five million votes respectively.
Also speaking, the Senator representing Bayelsa West, Senator Seriake Dickson, said that Atiku should be elected President so as to implement his proposed policy of restructuring and power devolution.
He thanked Atiku for announcing him as his Technical Adviser on Restructuring and National Integration adding, “one of the most most important things is that Atiku should be elected so that he can restructure Nigeria.”
According to him, “If you want power devolution, if you want restructuring, Atiku is the man to support. Atiku has been part of the story of Bayelsa since 1999. I thank our leader for appointing me as his Special Adviser on Restructuring and National Integration.
“Nobody needs to preach to Atiku on restructuring Nigeria, he is an original believer and proponent of it.”
Also, Governor, Senator Douye Diri, stated that Atiku is the only candidate who has been talking about resource control, and restructuring of the country which also dominate discussions in Ijaw nation.
Diri noted that with Senator Dickson, Chief Timi Alaibe, the Prosperity Government under him, and other leaders of the party, the PDP is poised to deliver Atiku in Bayelsa.
He said with the election programmed to be conducted with BVAS, the youth and women are behind the PDP to deliver Atiku in February, describing the PDP Presidential candidate as President in waiting.
Others who spoke including the party’s National Chairman, Iyiocha Ayu, the Director General Governor Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom) assured that that a PDP government at the federal level would ensure improvement in the quality of life of Niger Deltans and Nigerians.
Present at the rally were: wife of Delta State Governor, wife of Bayelsa State, Dr Mrs Gloria Diri, Governor Godwin Obaseki (Edo); former vice president, Nnamadi Sambo; former speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, former Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Chief Timi Alaibe among others.