Battle for presidency: APC, PDP boasts of victory
•Buhari has won—Oshiomhole •PDP’ll win a free, fair poll—Dogara
The battle for the Presidency became more intense at the weekend, with the two leading parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), boasting of victory in the February 16 poll, as campaigns peaked across the country.
With the presidential election only 26 days away, leaders of the two major parties had, on Saturday, at different locations, staked claims to victory in the poll, citing different advantages over the other camp.
In Minna, Niger State, the national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, boasted that the presidential election “has already been massively won by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
But in an indirect reaction, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, in Bauchi, said that the PDP would coast to victory with a free and fair election, noting that the Nigerian electorate has discovered that the ruling APC is nothing but a failure.
This was just as the weekend witnessed campaign rallies across the country, with the APC presidential campaign train touching Minna in Niger State and Jos in Plateau State, while another rally organised by women and youths in the South-West for the APC presidential candidate was held at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan.
Buhari has already won the election, Oshiomole boasts, berates OBJ, others
In Minna, the Niger State capital, Oshiomhole boasted that if the overwhelming support so far enjoyed by the presidential campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari in all the states so far visited across the country, including Bauchi and Kaduna states, was anything to go by, the presidential election “has already been won massively by President Buhari.”
He added that the country has passed a stage whereby some few retired Generals, former military and civilian Heads of State would hold the country to ransom, saying the future of Nigeria “lies with the people and not a few selfish people who preside over the commonwealth of the country.”
Oshiomhole stated these when the Buhari paid a short visit to the state in continuation of his campaign tour of the country ahead of next month’s elections.
According to Oshiomhole, some retired Generals had been determining who becomes the leaders in the country, saying “the stage has come now whereby Nigerians should be the ones to elect their leaders by freely exercising their franchise in the forthcoming general polls.
“They once ganged up among themselves and asked President Buhari not to seek reelection for the best reasons known to them. But Buhari has already won the election. When we got to Bauchi State, both men and women said Buhari should not worry himself by subjecting himself to rigorous campaigns; they said President Buhari has already won.
“Also, when we got to Kaduna, we were overwhelmed by the tumultuous crowd that welcomed us to the former political capital of the northern region. It is an indication of the people’s love for the President, because they demonstrated how much they want Mr. President Muhammad Buhari to continue in office in the next four years,” said Oshiomhole .
Oshiomole, however, conceded that the APC-led Federal Government did not claim to have solved all the problems of Nigeria, stressing that if the government had solved all the problems, it would not be seeking re-election.
Also in his remarks, President Buhari, who arrived at the campaign ground in Minna at about 11:45 a.m., said he was impressed by the large turnout of the people of the state who came to welcome him.
He reiterated his commitment’s commitment to ensuring that the ongoing railway line from Lagos to Ibadan is made to pass through Minna to Kaduna, saying that another standard gauge would go from Minna to Baro Port and to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
The president pleaded with the people of the state to throw their support behind him and all other candidates seeking elective positions on the platform of the APC in the forthcoming elections.
PDP’ll win a free and fair election, Dogara declares
Nigeria’s main opposition party, PDP, on Saturday, kicked off its 2019 gubernatorial campaign in Bununu, Tafawa Balewa Local Government, with Dogara, who led other prominent members of the party to the event, expressing optimism that with a free and fair election “the PDP is coasting on to a landslide victory in all of the elective offices, considering the fact that the electorates have discovered that the ruling APC is nothing but a failure.”
Dogara assured that the PDP will ensure equitable distribution of the scarce resources available to the country, adding that “Nigeria needs a functional and virile democracy devoid of ethno-religious sentiments.”
The speaker, who alleged that the APC-led administration at all levels is against his [Dogara’s] reelection bid assured that he would not be disturbed by the development, because according to him, “my concern is how to give my people positive representation and develop the area.”
The Bauchi PDP gubernatorial candidate, Bala Muhammad Abdulkadir, in his speech, assured that if elected as governor, his administration “will create effective measures to boost the economy and security of the state,” pointing out that the APC-led administration has failed people of the state.
The Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, represented by his deputy governor, Charles Yohanna, called on the people of Bauchi State to toe the line of Gombe State by ensuring that the PDP won the general election.
The Director-General of the Bala Muhammed Campaign, Senator Ahmed Abdul Ningi, had also used the occasion to debunk rumours that he had defected to the APC, declaring that he was still in the party and “has never ever contemplated leaving the PDP.”