Atiku/Obi Meets the Civil Society, Agrees to Cooperate for Democracy
The Presidential candidate of the leading opposition party; the PDP, yesterday, met with members of the Civil Society. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Mr Peter Obi, accompanied by prominent members of the society like the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, the Senate President who also doubles as the campaign DG, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye, various members of the civil society like Alhaji Buba Galadima and Nollywood Actor, Bob Manuel Udokwu. This meeting has become important as many members of the Civil Society have become targets of the Buhari administration, including Amnesty International. In the meeting, the members of the Civil Society who spoke reaffirmed the normative role of the Civil Society as the third sector of the society. Alhaji Buba Galadima, a former supporter of President Muhamadu Buhari notably but regrettably, apologized for supporting the presidential candidacy of President Buhari stating “this is not the Buhari that we know.”
Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki in his speech did not leave any stone unturned as he lampooned the 2019 budget presentation by President Buhari, asserting that “this budget does not have a plan for anybody.” This likely follows a series of accusation that the Buhari-led FG had claimed that uncompleted projects were completed in the budget. On the very controversial electoral act, the Senate President stated that “INEC told us they have enough time to implement the electoral amendment bill, the President does not have an excuse.” Mr. Bob Manuel Udokwu spoke about the numerous investments of the PDP regime in Nollywood. Mr. Bob Manuel stated clearly “PDP and Jonathan was the first government that ever invested in the creative industry,” he continued, “At some point, Nollywood was the second largest employer of labor, now Nollywood is Moribund.” This is ripe as a recent interview on CNN with Miss Genevieve Nnaji, revealed that she self-financed her Netflix-acquired movie; Lionheart, unlike other climes where the government provides cheap loan facilities to their creative industry. Mr. Bob Manuel went on to state reasons why Nigerians must support the PDP back to power because the PDP means it when it states that it is all about jobs, jobs, and jobs.
Mr. Peter Obi, who was described by Senator Dino Melaye, as the man who turns orators to stammerers, spoke succinctly about all that was and is wrong with Nigeria. Mr. Obi castigated the lacklustre approach of the Buhari-led FG on infrastructure, “They tell you that they have been borrowing for Capital Projects, which capital project is more important than Lagos Ibadan expressway? How much have they released for that?.” On the claims by the FG that there is no money in Nigeria for infrastructure, Mr. Obi affirmed, “People keep asking – Peter, where will you find the money for these projects you’re talking about?” I always respond that I have governed a state successfully. And we found the money. ” Mr. Obi said a lot about how the bank of industry which is supposed to fund the whole industrialisation, has been reduced to a micro-credit bank.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar came in the venue to a lot of cheers, accompanied by the PDP Party Chairman. He talked rather emotionally about working with the civil society to guarantee dividends of democracy. In his words, “Democracy will not survive without Civil Society organizations.” This comes at a time when the Amnesty International is being threatened for releasing death toll numbers from herdsmen attacks. Alhaji Atiku stated that it was the PDP that brought democracy to Nigeria and not APC, and that “The dignity of Nigeria starts at home, not abroad, when we dignify Nigerians at home, we will be dignified abroad.” This comes at a time when Nigerians all over the world are being discriminated upon because of the color of their passports. The aspirant went on to discuss how it was important that a synergy between the Civil Society and political parties should be established. The session ended with fulfilment, as groups and individuals shook hands, took pictures and endorsed the Atiku/Obi candidacy.
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