Atiku Abubakar, presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has promised to make the development of the South-East zone a top priority if he wins the election. He specifically mentioned early completion of the Second Niger Bridge as well as abandoned roads in the zone as top priority projects.
Addressing the mammoth crowd at his campaign on Thursday at the Holy Trinity Cathedral field, Onitsha, Atiku said he was not in Onitsha to campaign, but to present his wife, Jennifer Atiku, who is from the famed commercial town, and his running mate, former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, saying that “they were the real contestants”.
He said: “I’m not here to campaign but to inform you that your son, Peter Obi, and your daughter are the real contestants. I’m in the minority.
“You asked me to complete the Second Niger Bridge; that I’ll do because of my wife. With Peter Obi as the VP, be rest assured that all the roads in the region will be completed too.”
The PDP flag bearer urged people to get their PVCs ready in order to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC government in the February 16 presidential election even as he enjoined them to vote for all PDP candidates in the contest.
Earlier in his speech, during a courtesy call on the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, Atiku said that the royal blessing of the monarch would help nurture the struggle for a new economic direction for Nigeria through new political economy resolve.
He assured that if elected, his government’s policy would straighten cultural tourism in the integrated economic growth plans.
Speaking during the courtesy call in his palace, the traditional ruler of Onitsha regretted that all the traditional rulers in the state could not attend the event because a meeting was scheduled the same day between them and the State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano.
While reading out text messages he sent out to Governor Obiano intimating him of the proposed meeting of traditional rulers with Atiku, the Obi of Onitsha said: “Surprisingly, I later received another text message from the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters telling me that the governor had fixed a meeting same day with the traditional rulers at the Government House in Awka.
“The traditional rulers you see here today are the ones that managed to make it here because they want to be here.”
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Deputy Chairman, Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers and the traditional ruler of Odekpe, Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state, Igwe Chuma, stressed that Igbos are sad at the turn of events in the country.
He noted that the Buhari administration has neglected Igbos, not just in the provision of infrastructure but also in strategic political appointments.
According to him, he had the mandate of the traditional rulers to ask for Atiku’s commitment to his promises of restructuring the country, making Onitsha River Port functional, dredging of the River Niger, completion of the Second Niger Bridge, among others, if he makes it to the Presidential Villa as Nigeria’s President.
He said: “Atiku is not only an in-law to the Onitsha people, but he is also a good friend of the Igbo people.”
The traditional ruler noted that victory for Atiku and Obi in the presidential election would also be a victory for the Igbo. – News Express