The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has commended the commitment and courage of the people of Oyo State for their support for its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and all other candidates of the party in the 2023 general elections.
The party said this in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja on Friday.
Some members of the PDP walked in support of Atiku in Ibadan, the state capital on Wednesday.
However, the following day, the state governor, Seyi Makinde, a member of the PDP, kicked off his re-election campaign in Ibadan, with leaders of the party, including Atiku and the National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu absent.
Mr Makinde is a member of the group of five governors demanding the resignation of Mr Ayu as a condition for supporting Atiku.
The others are Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).
Some party members were heard shouting in support of Atiku at the G-5 governors rally.
In the statement, Mr Ologunagba said the party commended the tenacity of PDP members and supporters in Oyo State for expressing support for Atiku at the flag-off of the PDP Governorship Campaign in Oyo State on Thursday, in defiance of attempts to dictate their electoral preference.
“The overwhelming chanting of “Atiku! Atiku!” by the resilient crowd in rejection of a request that they follow the dictates of some individuals in the presidential election, summarily conveyed in one voice their unnegotiable resolve to vote Atiku as the next President of our country.
“The people of Oyo State as independent-minded and political savvy have again demonstrated their nickname as Pace-setters in the politics of Nigeria, by establishing that power lies in the will of the people and not the endorsement or dictates of any person or group of persons.
“Unambiguously, the expression of the people of Oyo State at the flag-off event firmly signposts and reaffirms the support of the South-west Geo-Political Zone for Atiku Abubakar and all our candidates in the South West and across the country.”
The PDP spokespersons counseled those seeking to dictate to Nigerians on their electoral preferences to retrace their steps.
Mr Ologunagba said this was important especially now that it was clear that the people were not ready to be swayed by personal, group or sectional considerations in their support for Atiku and the PDP.
ALSO READ: Ayu, Atiku absent as Wike, others storm Ibadan for Makinde’s re-election campaign
He said Nigerians across board had found in Atiku the desired integrity, cognate experience, capacity, ability, mental alertness, presence of mind, pan-Nigerian disposition and required will power to unify and lead the nation at this critical time.
“Our party, therefore, charges the people of Oyo State, the South-west Zone and all Nigerians to remain firm in their resolve by coming out en-masse to vote as well as take every measure available in a democracy to protect their votes.
“This is in the overall quest to rescue our nation and return her to the path of national stability, peace, economic prosperity and happiness of all, that Abubakar embodies.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999