Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has assured people of Gombe and Bauchi states that a vote for him next year will be a reincarnation of the ideals of late Prime Minister of Nigeria in the First Republic, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1912-1966).
Balewa, an indigene of former Bauchi state, now split into Bauchi and Gombe state, was known at home and abroad for his honor and integrity, before he was assassinated by soldiers that staged a coup d’etat back then.
The nostalgic recollection of the significance of Balewa’s life and times was made by Atiku today in Gombe, Gombe state, in continuation of his presidential campaign across the country, which has traversed Akwa Ibom, Borno, Edo and Kaduna states since October.
“As you are all aware, Bauchi and Gombe are one and the same states. The late Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, though born and brought up in today’s Bauchi state, was from here as well.
“Most of you weren’t born when Balewa was the Prime Minister of this country. Do you want to have another personality like him?, the ex-Vice President asked the throng of supporters gathered at the 12,000 spectators capacity, multi-use stadium in the Pantami district of the state capital.
To their ecstatic answer of: “yes,” the PDP presidential candidate said: “If you want another chance to bring back such personality, I’m the one. Vote for me and the PDP in 2023 and you’ll forget that you have lost Balewa.”
He premised his claim with the pledge that his administration would enable the full use of energy from the Dadin Kowa dam, designed by the federal government in 1984, with the goal of providing irrigation and electricity for the planned Gongola sugar plantation project; and later to provide about 30,000 cubic meters of water daily, treated at a plant built at a cost of about N8.2 billion under a PDP administration in the state, as part of the sub-national and national grid.
According to Atiku, PDP made a substantial contribution to the development of the Dadinkowa dam, thus pledging to complete the project and ensure that the electricity generated from there is distributed throughout the North-East region.
Describing the PDP’s campaign train visit to Gombe as home coming, he said: “God willing, with your support and your votes, we know the problems of the state especially those bothering women and youth. We’ll empower entrepreneurs to provide jobs for them,” he added.
He also pledged to construct roads to ease transportation and trade between the state and its neighbors; and restore security. “Boko Haram,” he noted, “is not an insurmountable threat. We defeated it in Adamawa state. We can do so everywhere its threat appears to be potent.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Committee (APCO), Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state, who described the candidate as a qualified, credible and visionary leader, said the PDP is seeking power now
to check many problems brought upon the country by the incumbent administration.
Similarly, the Director General of the APCO, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state assured that when voted into office Atiku will establish peace, security and provide employment to teeming youths and women in the state and the country.
Also speaking, the Gombe state gubernatorial candidate, Alhaji Muhammad Jibril Barde, pledged to the candidate that people of the state will vote PDP at all levels in 2023.
The state chairman of the party, Major General Amnon Kwaskebe (rtd), earlier in the day told the crowd that “with what we’re seeing on the ground, it means Gombe state is PDP and the people are for PDP as it has been since 1999.”