Day Jonathan Moved Campaign Train to Owerri
AFTER series of preparations for the presidential campaign of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State, steered by the state PDP Presidential campaign committee, headed by a former governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa, the President and Commander –In- Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the PDP’s Presidential candidate in February 14, polls, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, in company of his wife, Dame Patience, the Vice President, Namani Sambo, the deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, wife of the Senate President, Helen Mark, the national Chairman of the party, Adamu Mua’zu, among others, arrived the popular Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri, the state capital on January 17.
Before his arrival the venue was filled to the brim from 9.00 am. Party supporters anxiously waited for the president’s arrival. A welcome song rented the air “Carry go, carry go, Jonathan carry go. Jona, Jona, na you we know, na you we want.”
The number one citizen who regarded Imo state people as his in- laws, according to his wife, urged Nigerians, virtually to set aside their individual differences and consider him fit to wear the cap once again from May 29, promising to increase his competences and that of the Federal Government under his watch by providing more of the democracy dividends in the areas such as good policies on educational, agricultural, industrial, power sector growth.
He also promised to make the entertainment industrial and football and other sports top government priorities. He recognised the in roads made by such actors and actresses from Imo and other states.
Jonathan said he would end the insurgency issue, disclosing that the problem was already coming to an end. He particularly pointed to the fact that he would ensure that education was not toyed with in Nigeria any more.
He said: “I come from poor and grassroots background. Without education, I would not have been here today to talk to you… We are asking for your support.”
Apart from the usual campaign promises, Jonathan urged Imo electorate to cast their votes for only the PDP candidates, more importantly, the governorship standard bearer in the polls, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, currently the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, all the three senatorial candidates, and those of the House of Assembly numbering 27. He made it clear that such would enable him to work harmoniously with them, making it easier for Imo people to have enriched democracy dividends from the centre.
He also disproved certain claims from some Imo people (mainly opposition) that there are no federal government presence in the state.
Starting from the road infrastructure, Jonathan said the Owerri –Elele Port Harcourt; Owerri -Aba Roads are ongoing, stressing in strong terms that several buildings were constructed in various 305 wards of the state.
“We are doing all these because we believe in future that the Nigeria belongs to young Nigerians.
He also reminded Nigerians that under his watch, his administration has established with structures, a total of 14 universities, put emphasize in the Maritime industry, among other security agencies, including the Police and Army more than his predecessors did.
In the area of women enhancement and employment drive, Jonathan, said he would empower women and create more jobs added to the U-WIN programme. He mentioned that the Federal Government would bring more zeal to create more jobs for the teaming young Nigerian population, including graduate group.
He had tested his popularity strength when he took a bold step by walking round the stadium with his entourage and party men, acknowledging cheers from the crowd.
In the event also attended by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Imo State PDP governorship standard bearer, Ihedioha, the immediate past governor of Anambra State,also the deputy Director General of Goodluck campaign organization, Mr. Peter Obi, a former national chairman of the PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, the governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji, the Minister of State for Education, doubling as the deputy coordinator, Imo State Presidential campaign Organization, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, the Imo State chairman of the PDP, Chief Nnamdi Anyaehie, a former Minister of Aviation; Transport and National Woman leader of the PDP, Dr. Kema Chikwe among others.
Dame Jonathan, who had spoken before her husband, expressed herself in Igbo, urging women to disregard any candidate who said if he was ushered into office, he would abolish the office of First Lady, warning that such portend danger of endangering the progress of women folk.
Though she did not mention the name of the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Maj.- Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Dame Jonathan, reminded Imo women that they should consider her husband as their in- law and cast their votes total for him for continued recognition, pointing that her husband gave 16 women with key positions in the ministerial appointments.
She disclosed that from the achievements of Jonathan, he has fulfilled his promises during the 2011 campaigns: “Others promise and fail, but in PDP it is promise seen.”
100 unbroken, unshared votes, she said, was expected of the women in the state and by extension, the Southeast.
Others who spoke at the event included the national chairman of the party, Mua’zu, who spent some time to introduce Ihedioha, Ali, Ihedioha, Udenwa, Chikwe and others.
Mua’zu, regarded as “game changer” gave the symbolic flag to Ihedioha, urging the Imo electorate to cast their votes for Jonathan, Ihedioha and other candidates of the party in various political elective positions sought for.
Speaking, Ihedioha who spoke for almost 20 minutes regretted that Imo people had been under bondage for three and half years under the leadership of the APC government.
He promised if elected to reinstate the 10,000 workers sacked by the present administration in the state. He also promised to restore all the sectors he considered in decay- such as health, education among others, by offering qualitative free education. Two prominent Imo sons who had defected from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and the APC, Representative Eddie Mbadiwe and Marshal Okafor- Anyanwu, were received.
Onwuliri listed some Jonathan’s achievements in Imo – the N5 billion grain silos project in Ezinnachi, Okigwe.