Atiku

ALL ACTIVITIES at the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abuja, came to a standstill yesterday as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar stormed the secretariat to meet members of the National Caretaker Committee. When Atiku arrived at about 11.58am in a sleek black Mercedes Benz with registration number, Lagos: Ex 449 SMK, it took some minutes for his vehicle to gain entry into the secretariat as anti-riot policemen and other security operatives were almost overwhelmed by the large crowd that surrounded the vehicle. Security operatives had a very hectic time controlling the large crowd of supporters that besieged the secretariat and the adjoining roads before the arrival of the former vice president. When the vehicle eventually got into the premises, it took some minutes before security operatives could push back the surging crowd to enable him come out of the car. The ecstatic crowd of supporters and drummers welcomed him with shouts of “Baba oyoyo, Atiku oyoyo.” Virtually all the workers at the secretariat temporarily abandoned their duty posts to either join the supporters of the former vice president or just to catch glimpse of the wild jubilation. The Turakin Adamawa was led to the second floor office of the national chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, by the security operatives where he had a brief meeting with members of the National Working Committee. Apart from only one cameraman that was already on the second floor before the arrival of Atiku, other journalists were unable to cover the meeting as they could not penetrate through the large crowd that covered every available space from the ground floor to the third floor. After the short meeting in Makarfi’s office, Atiku and other NWC members came down to the large NEC hall that was already filled to the brim while only a very small proportion of the supporters were able to gain access into the large hall. In his address, Atiku appealed to all former members of the PDP that defected to other political parties to return to rebuild the party. He said his coming to the secretariat was to reinforce the fact that he is now back to the party. “All what I have come to do today is to come and show my face. Many people have read in the media that I have returned home. This is home. “Mr Chairman, I want to congratulate you for a wonderful work which you have been doing to redeem the image of this party, to return it, rebrand it and return it to its original form. “I want to assure you of my support and cooperation at all times, to make sure that these objectives are achieved by you and subsequently by your successors. “We should remember that those of us who founded this party, founded it on the principles of democracy, good governance, unity of this country and the prosperity of its people.” The former Nigeria’s second citizen lauded members of the PDP that were steadfast in the party during the turbulent years. “Over the years, like any or every human organisation, it has faced its challenges but I want to pay tribute to those who have stayed steadfast through thick and thin to see us through to this point. “Now that we have learnt our lessons, I hope that we will be guided by the lessons we have learnt. And that is to make sure that we build an all-inclusive party where every part of this country will have a sense of belonging and sense of participation. “To achieve all these, there must be sacrifices, understanding and compromises in the process of achieving that. And that is what I speak to members to imbibe. But as you know, one thing that I will never compromise is the internal democracy process in a given political party. And I hope we all must have learnt our lessons. “I therefore want to pledge to you Mr Chairman and members of the National Working Committee that my returning home is to help continue with the work you have started, reforming, rebranding this very party which is the only party in this country. “Let me pay tribute to past leadership of this great party; where ever they may be and to call upon them to please return home as I have done. It is only by their returning home that we will build a stronger, more united party that can again return to government and continue to deliver the dividends of democracy.” He further added that contrary to the claims of the ruling party, PDP’s record of performance remains unbeaten. “I can bet you the records we have achieved so far in governance no government has yet even done 50 percent of what we have achieved in government, not to talk of equalling our performance in government.”

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