Monday, 10 February 2014

DEFECTION FROM APC TO PDP in sokotoJonathan Receives Bafarawa in Half-Empty Square

From left: Vice President Namadi Sambo; President Goodluck Jonathan and National PDP Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, acknowledging cheers from the crowd during the defection ceremony of Attahiru Bafarawa from APC to PDP in Sokoto on Saturday

President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, and other PDP bigwigs in the country including its National chairman, PDP Governors ministers stormed Sokoto yesterday to formally receive former Sokoto Governor Attahiru Bafarawa who recently dumped the All Progressives Congress for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
. Says, PDP’ll win in 2015
The event took place at the Shehu Kangiwa Square, the usual venue for political activities in Sokoto. Though the event was attended by some PDP governors from across the country, our reporters noted that the crowd that welcomed President Jonathan to Sokoto fell short of expectations, as the square was half-empty.
The crowd from Sokoto was heavily complemented by supporters of the PDP  who attended the function from Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Kebbi States. They accompanied PDP governors or deputy governors to receive Bafarawa into their fold. However, there was tight security in Sokoto, as soldiers and policemen were posted to strategic locations all over the city, while a helicopter hovered in the sky around the venue throughout the period the reception lasted.
Former President Shehu Shagari was among those who received President Goodluck Jonathan and his entourage at the Sultan Abubakakar III international Airport, Sokoto.
In his address, President Jonathan expressed gratitude to the people of the state for receiving him warmly, saying it was a reassurance that the people would go with the PDP in the next elections.
Despite the gale of defections from PDP, the president asserted that the party remained stable and unshaken. He said, “This is the only party that can lead Nigeria now; this is the only party that is now very steady. In PDP, there’s no shaking.”
He described PDP as the symbol of democracy in Nigeria, saying that’s why even those who were not in partisan politics believe in the PDP. According to him, it is only PDP that can stabilize the country.
He added that PDP “has been undergoing changes; other parties are still evolving. We don’t know what they would change to, but PDP is stable at all levels and we promise PDP would continue to give leadership in this country.”
On Bafarawa’s defection to the PDP, he asserted that, ”Today, we did not come to Sokoto state to  campaign  for any position, but to reassure our great followers  and, indeed, the great country that PDP is still united; PDP is still the party to beat. It is still the party that can lead this country to where we want to go.”
Jonathan said with Bafarawa joining  the PDP  along with  his supporters,   Sokoto  State Deputy Governor Mukhtari  Shagari and other strong politicians  in PDP, Sokoto state is for PDP.
He declared, “In Sokoto State now, we are waiting for the next elections; we’ll deliver PDP in all elections. We want to use Sokoto State as an example to show all others that PDP is still the main party in this country; PDP will continue to be the major party in Nigeria.”
The National Chairman of the party, Dr Adamu Muazu, described PDP as a party of Nigerians, that it is synonymous with the development of Nigeria.  He said, “It is a party to beat in the next 60 years. I assure you our party is growing from strength to strength, day to day.”
He disclosed that after due consultation with all stakeholders, they are going to come out with very effective programme that will enhance the quality of their manifesto for them to perform very well: “The light that we have cannot be hidden; no propaganda can put it off. No amount of blackmail can put it off. Those who outside now I urge them to see the light before it is too late.
Also speaking the governor of Akwa Ibom State, who is also Chairman PDP Governors Forum, expressed appreciation to former President Shagari. Akpabio, like other speakers, asserted that PDP would do it again in 2015, adding that the 2015 elections would be defined, not by propaganda, but by the legacies that PDP has left behind since assumption of office.
Earlier while welcoming the president the states Deputy Governor, Muktari, praised the president for the support for his Almajiri school system, saying, “This shows that you  as the president of Nigeria; you are not concerned about the tribe of anybody, but you are concerned that we are all Nigerians, you did not even care whether the children who go to this schools are Muslims; you did your duty as the president of Nigeria.”
Former Governor Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa for whom the gathering was called, assured the president that he and his supporters would work for Jonathan’s victory in 2015.  He said, ”Mr. President, as far as Sokoto is concerned, go and sleep. You don’t have any problem. We have been winning elections, but we have been rigged out. But now that we are back to PDP which I believe, there is no other party that will get councillorship seat in Sokoto, come 2015, except PDP.”

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