Over 142,000 members of the All Progressive Congress and other opposition parties in Bauchi State have joined Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president and the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
They defected to the PDP on Wednesday as Atiku campaigned in the state.
After winning the PDP’s nomination for president in the Abuja presidential primary, Atiku made his first trip to the state.
At a lavish celebration held at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Township Stadium in Bauchi, he was welcomed by hundreds of defecting members of the APC, and other political parties in the state who defected to the PDP.
After arriving at the Bauchi International Airport, Atiku made a courtesy call to the Emir of Bauchi before traveling to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, where tens of thousands of defectors were waiting for him. Among them were the current speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, the former deputy governor of the state, Audu Sule Katagum, and a governorship aspirant, named Faruk Mustapha.
The PDP presidential candidate commended the decampees on starting a new chapter in their political careers and noted that this was a positive event that would benefit the PDP much in 2023.
He said, “We are here today to celebrate this great achievement in Bauchi state. I can recall the last time I was here, I saw the development the state recorded in all sectors, and this stride was achieved under the administration of Bala Mohammed of the PDP.
“Now you have a government that is always progressing but you should always have this at the back of your mind that the politics in the North started from Bauchi State, that is why you must not treat Bauchi politics with levity. Today, we recorded another achievement of additional people to the party, but this is not the main campaign, we will still come back again, we came solely to receive our brethren who decamped from the APC.”
Speaking at the ceremony, PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu stated that although the Northeast has not yet produced a president, God today picked Atiku Abubakar, a son of the region, to address all the problems plaguing the country and bring the country together.
He promised the decampees a level playing field and urged them to board the PDP train since it is moving forward.
The governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, gave the PDP presidential flag-bearer assurances that the party would back his candidacy by going to all lengths to gather votes that would count for the PDP.
Mohammed said, “Mr. Atiku, Bauchi people love you, they like you and they know what you can do, they believe in you and they believe in us. We are together as a team, we will mobilize in the PDP way, we will make sure we go to the nook and corners, and we assure you that we are not going to be humiliated. This time, all the people of Bauchi and the Northeast will vote for you and we will make sure that the vote counts.
“This is our time and the time of justice and equity to reverse the ugly trends. The people know you, you have mentored so many people, one of them our son is here, Senator Abdul Ningi. You are a godfather to so many people, so I am assuring you that Bauchi is one, don’t listen to detractors, and mischievous people, we are all behind the PDP and you. We must prove all the doubting Thomas wrong.”