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 In apparent reference to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, on Monday, read the riot act to party members, saying PDP is not built on any individual, and no one can distract its leadership. Ayu gave the waning in Kano, when the party received former Kano State Governor and Senator for Kano Central Senatorial District, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, who formally defected to PDP.

The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said at the occasion that the 2023 general election was a referendum on the the governing All Progressives Congress (APC). Atiku called on Nigerians to vote for him because he had been tried and tested, and, thus, possessed the capacity to lead the country out of its current economic and security challenges.

Shekarau, who officially joined PDP on Monday, wrote the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to inform it of his new status and request the commission to withdraw him as the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) senatorial candidate for Kano Central.

Speaking in Kano, when the party received Shekerau, Ayu explained that PDP was built on Nigerians.

He declared, “The PDP is built by the people and that is why it is called the people’s party. It was never built on an individual and can never be built on an individual.

“As the people’s party, it is not waiting for anybody. We will win election everywhere and will not only win in the north, we will in the south; we will win in the South-south. The PDP will win nationwide.

“By this time next year, we shall have PDP government in place. Nobody can destabilise this party. We are not going to be distracted. Don’t mind all those peddling crises.

“We shall overcome all distracting forces. We shall overcome all difficulties. Every member of PDP is important. We will do everything possible to bring all those that have left the PDP back.”

Atiku, who spoke in Hausa at the event, commended the House of Representatives and Senate for their bipartisan efforts in passing the Nigeria Startup Bill. He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the bill into law.

In a statement, the PDP presidential candidate said, “Nigerians are yearning for victory in our campaign, because they know that when the PDP wins, the victory is to the people.

“I am sure you must have noticed that my team and I have kept our engagements focused on policy related issues. We know, much as you do know, too, that the upcoming election is a referendum on the ruling party. They have failed and our democracy gives us the power to punish the APC for their failed promises.”

Describing himself as the candidate with the magic key to the problems confronting the country, Atiku said, “I am a candidate, who is prepared for the job and ready to hit the ground running from day one!

“Our campaign comes with a promise of renewal, and a commitment of returning power to the people. That is what the PDP stands for. And, like I did say in Lagos during the NBA national conference, I am not a trial and error in leadership. I am tried and tested and my capacity to get the job done is proven.

“Dear friend, kindly permit me to thank you again for the great job that you continue to do by supporting the campaign. Also, kindly permit me to urge you to do more. It is when we do more that we can truly push back the APC from coming back to fail us, once more.”

Atiku also commended the House of Representatives and Senate, on his verified Twitter handle, for their bipartisan efforts. He explained that the Nigerian start-up space was one of the largest in Africa, and Nigeria had become a key destination on the continent for Tech talent, with the ICT sub-sector contributing approximately 18.44 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP as of the end of Q2 in 2022.

The PDP presidential candidate said the ICT industry was a critical part of his national development plan and framework to ensure economic growth and diversification in the coming years.

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