… promises to complete East-West Road, Onne Port to Maiduguri Rail line, others
By John Alechenu, Abuja
People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has assured the people of the River State that, under the Atiku-Okowa presidency, they will regain their place of honor in the scheme of things in Nigeria.
Atiku made the pledge at a meeting with his Rivers State campaign managers, as well as party stakeholders, in Abuja.
He expressed his gratitude to those who took the time to attend the meeting, which he noted was forced on his campaign out of paramount concern for the safety of the lives and property of the people of the state.
Atiku said: “I want to start by acknowledging the circumstances and turn of events that have led us to this unique style of campaign rally.
“While we did not want this, it became expedient for us to think and act outside the box to protect the lives of our people from senseless violence and bloodshed instigated by the very people who bear primary responsibility for their safety and well-being.
“Our campaign and indeed the PDP fully subscribes to the position that no political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.
“Clearly, the events on the ground in Rivers State, and this meeting here at the insistence of our Rivers PDP family, confirms the historic relationship between Rivers State and myself.”
The PDP candidate who described himself as a good corporate citizen of Rivers State, who has made deep connections with various families in the state over the years.
He explained that these relationships have endured for decades, long before politics.
This, he said, gives him confidence that he can count on the support of the people of the state for the PDP and his presidency.
Atiku further said: “The Rivers State and the Rivers people are bound by fate to be critical stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Atiku/Okowa presidency in multiple ways.
“Let me therefore assure the people of Rivers that the state will regain its pre-eminent position in Nigerian government and politics.
“Among other dividends, transportation infrastructure in Rivers State will receive priority attention.
“Existing seaports will be expanded to increase economic activities that will have a ripple effect on the Rivers State economy for the prosperity of our people.
“The incomplete rail line from Onne Port to join the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail line, which has been on the drawing board for decades, will be completed quickly, while the deep-water port at Bonny will receive immediate attention.
“The completion of East West Road will be a cardinal priority commitment for our presidency.
“Port Harcourt International Airport will receive increased attention and investment to become a true regional hub.
“The youth of Rivers State, like other states in the Niger Delta, will benefit from our dedicated economic empowerment plan as a means of dealing with persistent youth restlessness and discontent that has sometimes created challenges of security.
“Among other initiatives, the Presidential Amnesty Program (PAP) will be revamped and restructured to become an enduring platform for unleashing the limitless creative energies and potentials of our Rivers State youth.
“Our recovery agenda for Nigeria has a front row seat for the bright, talented and hard-working women of Rivers.
“Rivers State women will benefit from our special business funding targeted at women as well as being considered for appointments to various positions.
“As a corporate citizen of Rivers State for many decades, I know that the people of Rivers appreciate that an Atiku presidency is inherently in their best interest, which is why they have made it their own project at great human and material sacrifice. .
“I assure you that your sacrifice and support will be fully rewarded with a good government that will allow you to realize your aspirations.
“Therefore, I urge you to keep the faith, even in the face of unnecessary violent harassment and intimidation, turn out in droves on Saturday, February 25, 2023, and vote as usual for PDP. I assure you that your sacrifice and support will be fully rewarded.”