Home Politics 2023: PDP’ll Win, Bring Prosperity, Atiku, Nwobodo Indicate at Ayu’s Septuagenarian Gig

2023: PDP’ll Win, Bring Prosperity, Atiku, Nwobodo Indicate at Ayu’s Septuagenarian Gig

- as Namadi, Okowa, Udom, Tambuwal, others line up for repaste

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PDP will win - Atiku

Muhammed Bello

As victory is being predicted for the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming presidential and general elections, indications are rife also that it is prepared to make Nigeria and Nigerians better once it is in power.

The party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar reiterated on Friday evening at a dinner organized to celebrate the 75th birthday of the party Chairman that he and the party apparatus would work conscientiously to improve the well-being of Nigerians as it did under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999-2007.

Prompted by a confident prediction by the erstwhile Governor of old Anambra state, octogenarian Chief Jim Nwobodo that the PDP will win the 2023 elections, Atiku said the party under Ayu’s leadership and himself as the president will do the needful to engender prosperity in the country.

“Dr Ayu and I are poised to return this country to another democratic dispensation: a democracy that brought prosperity to the country between 1999-2007. This is another opportunity for us to lead Nigeria into unity and prosperity, and transform Africa into a better continent by providing veritable leadership,” Atiku said.

Atiku who also paid tribute to Ayu “as a frontline advocate of democracy” in the country, observed that their “friendship has been elevated to brotherhood over the years,” after they met during the struggle to foster democracy in the country.

“That was in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) formed by the military. Afterward, we soldiered on to ensure that the democracy we enthroned continued. It has been 22 years since we started. We have changed parties at the state and national levels. But our enthronement of democracy has been a remarkable achievement in the annals of the country,” Atiku emphasized,” wishing the celebrant many happy returns.

Chairman of the occasion, Chief Nwobodo, who described the life of Ayu as one of achievements, commitments, and resilience, anticipated electoral triumph for the PDP in 2023.

“I’m absolutely sure we will win this election. If we don’t it would be our fault as Nigerians have had a bad experience under this (APC) government. They’re yearning for a change,” said Nwobodo.

He added that he wants to see Atiku and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, at the helm of affairs next year, thus urging all party members to mobilize support for the PDP’s victory from the ward level to the national level.

The former Governor, who was among the founding fathers of the PDP pleaded with all aggrieved members of the party to bury their hatchet, observing that as a politician Ayu had seen some challenges, but he is a hard-working person who never gives up, traits which he said assures that the “PDP is in good and reliable hand.”

Delivering his testimonials of Ayu as a monarch, the supreme traditional ruler of the Tiv, Tor Tiv, Prof. Joseph Ayatse felicitated and encouraged the celebrant to live by his good deeds.

He said Ayu “have lived an illustrious life. He was a university don, a minister, Senate President, and still counting. The entire Tiv nation rejoices and felicitates with you.”

“This is only the beginning for you. You have been very successful. You will be more productive and successful,” he added while praying for his long life and prosperity.

The celebrant’s schoolmate at Ahmad Bello University, where he studied Sociology, Alhaji Yayale Ahmed, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation said he will always like to associate with him.

“We were in the same faculty in the university. He was a radical who read Sociology. He distinguished himself back then as he was noticeable, making us think ‘this Tiv man will be a great man.’

Ahmed noted that Ayu and his friends wanted to contribute to national development, so upon graduation, his love for politics made him join it. “He was a leader who saw beyond his community,” Ahmed further reminisced about Ayu’s university days.

Mrs. Josephine Ayu, Sen. Ayu’s wife for 25 years showered accolades on him, saying he is kind, generous, a ‘mythical phoenix’, a good husband, and a loving father.

His eldest daughter also had similar praises for her father. On behalf of her five sisters, she said her father’s greatest pride is his children.

The birthday bash was declared open by a prayer offered by John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop emeritus of Abuja diocese, who had in attendance former Vice President Arch. Namadi Sambo, Atiku’s running mate Governor Okowa, the Chairman of Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization (APCO), Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state, the Director General of the APCO, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state and his Edo counterpart, Godwin Obaseki.

Also at the occasion were former Senate Presidents: Bukola Saraki and Adolphus Wabara, now the acting Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), his predecessor, Sen. Walid Jubril, and members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC); who were joined by one of Ayu’s predecessors, Okwesilieze Nwodo as well as the wife of late Chief Solomon Lar, himself a former chairman of the party: Prof. Mary Lar.

Ex Governors under the platform of the party who showed up at the party were: Mr. Boni Haruna

Alhaji Ahmed Adamu Muazu, Sen. Liyel Imoke, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema, , Captain Idris Wada, Alhaji Babangida Muazu Aliyu and Celestine Omeiha of Adamawa, Bauchi, Cross River, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi Niger and Rivers states respectively.

Former Deputy Governors of Sokoto and Zamfara states Mukhtar Shagari and Barrister Mahdi Aliyu respectively; Dauda Lawan Dare, Zamfara state PDP gubernatorial candidate and Mrs. Natasha Akpoti, Kogi state gubernatorial candidate of the SDP were at the occasion.

Other guests include Hon. Emmanuel Jime, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Bello Ahmed Gaya, Deputy Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Alhaji  Mohammad Hayatuddeen, former PDP presidential aspirant, Amb. Aminu Wali, and Stephen Oronsaye, former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

Senators, including the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Tanimu Aduda along with the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tony Elumelu; Sen. Adamu Maina Waziri, Sen. Danjuma Laah, Sen. Gershon Bassey, Sen. Musa Bello Mubeco, Sen. Mathew Uroghide, Sen. Abdul Ahmed Ningi, Sen. Lee Maeba, and Sen. Dino Melaye were at the event.

Media mavens at the dinner included: Chief Aleogho Raymond Dokpesi, proprietor of DAAR Communications PLC, Dr. Ladan Salihu, former Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, and Eugenia Abu, former executive director (news) of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Bello is the Special Adviser of Media and Publicity to the Governor of Sokoto State.

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