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PDP crisis :Atiku’s photograph missing in Makinde’s campaign vehicles

The crisis rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has continued to take a toll on the campaign activities of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Oyo State.

This is as Governor Seyi Makinde branded re-election campaign vehicles failed to carry the picture of Atiku.

PlatinumPost reports that Makinde is one of the Group of five governors (G5) who have fallen out with the national leadership of the PDP as well as Atiku.

The G-5 PDP governors -Nyesom Wike (Rivers State), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), Ifeanyi Ugwunayi (Enugu) and Makinde – had pulled out of the party’s presidential campaign team after the party failed to meet their demand for the removal of the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

They publicly announced that they would not campaign for Atiku in their various states. Makinde was the only PDP governor in the Southwest before the recent emergence of Ademola Adeleke as governor of Osun State.

Shedding light on the issue of missing Atiku’s picture in the campaign vehicles, the Oyo State governor said it was not compulsory, as every politician is free to choose his own campaign strategy.

Makinde said:“I have seen branded cars by state House of Assembly candidates with just pictures of others running for House of Representatives in their localities. “Anybody that branded cars with his own money… You see, you can’t force them to put my own picture or someone else’s picture so as to vote for him.

“ I believe those that left the party did so owing to their political ambitions. Work is ongoing at bringing every party member together ahead of the 2023 general elections. Of course, we are reaching out to them, while some are vindicated on dropping their ambitions to join back in the party.”

Meanwhile, the Rivers State chapter of the PDP on Friday rejected allegations of thuggery leveled at its members by persons supporting the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the state.

Speaking at the PDP Secretariat in Port Harcourt, the party’s Campaign Council, described as illogical and ill-conceived, claims by Atiku’s spokesman in Rivers that the party was planning to destroy Atiku’s billboards and posters.

The Chairman, Publicity and Communications Committee of the council, Ogbonna Nwuke, said the allegation that the Rivers PDP planned to recruit 20 political thugs in each of the 23 local government areas of the state to intimidate innocent citizens was unfortunate.

Nwuke said: “We would not have wasted energy in responding to these allegations that are as worthless as the paper on which they are written. The reason is that they are products of poor workmen who are usually in the habit of quarrelling with their tools.

“Despite the claims, billboards carrying the faces of candidates of other political parties, including those that are aspiring for the presidency, are standing elegantly along major roads and streets. Nobody in the PDP loyal to the leadership of Governor Wike has removed them.

“Our position is that agents of the presidential candidate have resorted to underhand practices in an attempt to stir distrust and unrest in Rivers State. We have stumbled upon a plan by the pro-Atiku group led by a war canoe chief, supported by some rogue politicians who believe in divide and rule tactics, to use murderers, assassins and ex-prisoners to inflict bodily harm on innocent and defenseless Rivers people.

“The idea, we have learnt, is to destabilise a peaceful state, create fear and unrest and cause public disaffection through the generation of barefaced terror and mind-boggling violence. The idea is to cover up their evil plan to attack the state, stimulate tension and attempt to halt the ongoing and commendable bid by Governor Nyesom Wike to deliver more facilities to the good people of Rivers State in accordance with his electoral promises.

“As part of the plan, they are already running on the theory of the big lie by fabricating all kinds of tales, so they can later claim they told us so. In their desperation, they have even claimed that we are assembling thugs”.

Besides, Nwuke said the allegations were at variance with the provisions of the Electoral Act adding that the Atiku campaigners were demonstrating crass ignorance.

He said: “Votes will count in this election. The people will decide who rules them. Election results shall be transmitted electronically. INEC has introduced BVAS, meaning that only those who are qualified to vote will take part in the forthcoming elections.The hijack of polling boxes has become obsolete. No one can write results. That practice has become archaic. So, what will thugs do?

“Besides, the Wike administration has surpassed all expectations in terms of project delivery. The Rivers people know this, the Nigerian people appreciate this fact and the Federal Government has acknowledged this reality.

“Ex-agitators in the Niger Delta who have pitched camps with some candidates as we prepare for election are doing their best to campaign reasonably and peacefully. They are refusing to be dragged into the fray by blood thirsty politicians who are incidentally working for Atiku.

“Armed with the kind of scorecard that Governor Wike has put on the table, the goodwill that the PDP in Rivers State is enjoying, what do we need thugs for?

“Let us even for one second consider statistical data. Atiku’s Spokesman in Rivers State is claiming that the Rivers PDP of which he is part is recruiting 20 thugs per LGA.

“Some ‘LGAs like Khana and Etche have at least 19 wards. Is Atiku’s Spokesman saying that every ward will have an average of one thug each? If this is correct, what impact will one or two thugs have in a ward comprised of so many Electoral Units?

“This shows how hollow and how shallow these claims are. This exposes the lie that Atiku’a uncouth spokesman is telling the world. Those who are spinning these lies however forget that the wildcat allegations which are being deployed cannot, and will not earn sane votes for the presidential flag-bearer of the PDP.”


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