The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, and his loyalists were conspicuously absent at the pre-Atiku Freedom March press conference for the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, held at the state Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Iyaganku, Ibadan, on Tuesday.
The press briefing was jointly addressed by former ministers of Federal Capital Territory (State), Jumoke Akinjide, Mines and Steel Development, Wole Oyelese and former deputy governor of the state, Hazeem Gbolarumi and another chieftain of the party, Femi Babalola.
The freedom march is billed for Wednesday in Ibadan, the state capital.
Delivering the prepared speech, the former Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Oyelese said prominent members of the party would give speeches and justify to members of the public why they should vote for Atiku in the forthcoming election.
He said, “As you all know, PDP is the strongest and the most popular party in Oyo State and indeed Nigeria and we have no doubt that our party will sweep all the elective positions in the forthcoming 2023 general elections. Atiku Abubakar won in the state in the 2019 presidential election polling 366,690 votes to defeat the All Progressive Congress candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, who scored 365,229 votes and he will win it again next month with a wider margin.
“Since the return of democracy in 1999, Nigerians can now see the difference between the PDP government and the APC government. During the Obasanjo and Jonathan years when PDP was in power at the centre, the Nigerian economy was much better than what it is now. Nigerians never had to suffer like this.
“Now that Nigerians have experienced the APC government and what they got was unimaginable suffering, the difference is clear. Our people are going to bed hungry every night and they still have to sleep with only one eye closed because of insecurity as bandits, terrorists and common criminals prowl the land in search of victims. Prices of goods and services have sky-rocketed and become unaffordable for majority of our people.
“The Buhari administration has piled up debt. The infrastructural deficit can be seen in the absence of the most basic amenities. Most of our people are unemployed. Young Nigerians have no choice but to dabble into cybercrime known as yahoo yahoo, while others are fleeing Nigeria in droves. We are virtually in a hopeless situation. Another four years of APC will throw Nigeria into the Stone Age.” He added.
The former minister was of the view that Atiku will rescue Nigeria from bondage and suffering, as he is the most experienced among the leading presidential candidates in Nigeria.
Speaking on five aggrieved party governors, the former Deputy Governor of the state, Gbolarumi, and former Minister of State for FCT, Akinjide, said the outcome of G-5 meeting would not have any effect on the chances of their presidential candidate during the election.
They noted that what should be of major concern to the people is the lives of over 50% Nigerians who are living below the poverty line not the meeting or position of G5 on the presidential candidate to be supported in the coming election.
“We are dissipating energy on what is inconsequential. We should concentrate on what affects over 50% of the nation’s population. Nigeria has been tagged as the poverty capital of the World. The APC has impoverished the nation. The unemployment rate is unprecedented.
“Nigerians are being killed daily. The GDP growth is worrisome. Nigerians are seeing PDP as the best alternative,” they submitted.