By Auwal Ahmad
Barely 48 hours after All Progressive Congress Presidential campaign rally in Gombe State, a coalition of youth groups in the Northeast geopolitical zone, known as Atikulation2019, has endorsed former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The coalition enjoined all registered voters in the zone to vote massively for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, saying that he is more qualified to deliver the goods.
The Gombe State coordinator of Atikulation2019 Support Movement, Sirajo Bappah Jauro, who announced the decision to journalists in Gombe shortly after the coalition’s zonal meeting, described the victory of Atiku in 2019 election as victory for the entire Northeast region.
He said the anticipated victory of Atiku has already been seen as “well deserved and a humbling honor to the entire Northeast zone that has never had the privilege to lead Nigeria in a democratic setting since the end of the First Republic.”
Meanwhile, APC chieftain, Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna, has rejected reports on the degree of acceptability of PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC), which anticipated that Atiku would net as much as 60 per cent of votes to Buhari’s 40 per cent.
Gwamna, who made his reservations known to journalists in Gombe, said the popularity contest was laughable and fake, as it does not reflect the true picture of events in the state.
While stressing that the criteria for such rating were unfounded, unjustifiable and do not reflect the current political fervor in Gombe as a state, the APC stalwart said the entire narrative must have been cooked.
He said: “I saw the online report on the degree of acceptability of candidates of PDP and APC for Gombe and I know that such analysis is fake, laughable and unjustifiable looking at the sea of people that came out to welcome the president on Saturday.
“The criteria used for that publication is unfounded. Atiku came to Gombe as well as President Buhari and they both used the same stadium. What was the result? Atiku came for a zonal rally and got less than half of the stadium. President Buhari came on a campaign visit, not for zonal campaign, but the crowd that stood on the field was six times more than the ones that came for the PDP zonal rally in Gombe.
“Another factor that must be considered is the fact that the injustice in PDP and the yearnings of the real voters in Gombe have pushed many PDP bigwigs into APC. Last Saturday, APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, received 16 former PDP aspirants and senators into APC.
“So the popularity contest for Gombe that we know and live in is not a reflection of what is obtainable. Hence, I reject it in its entirety for lack of facts and figures as it seems like an attempt only to score online popularity for PDP that was annihilated with Buhari’s visit.’’
Gwamna disclosed that he has a strong support base in Gombe, which he ceded to President Buhari and Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya, adding that the same obtains for other defected ex-PDP chieftains that are now in APC.
However, the Atikulation2019 Support Movement maintained that its members across the geopolitical zone have resolved to “cooperate and fully support Atiku and PDP to put an end to the retrogressive leadership of APC in Nigeria.”
Jauro urged all PDP structures and people in Northeast to rally round the PDP presidential standard bearer and bring victory to Northeast region as well as for the good of Nigeria and it’s people.
The coordinator said: “Full support is what we owe candidate Atiku Abubakar and PDP to change APC’s obnoxious change. The last time the North-east had Nigerian leadership to work for was with Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister, who laid the framework for a developing Nigeria. We have another opportunity to serve Nigeria, and the time is now.”
He explained that the Buhari administration has failed in securing the lives and property of Northeast and Nigerians at large, remarking that the nation’s security in its current state is worse than it was under the 16 years of PDP.
“Atiku deserves the presidential seat in 2019, because he has shown the qualities of a good leader that the nation would be proud of,” Jauro added, assuring that the country would have a new look under the PDP presidential candidate as elected president.
Source Guardian Nigeria