Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has promised to harness the great potential that abound in the small and medium enterprises in Nigeria to create jobs for the nation’s youths.
This is as the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has called on the Ministery of Interior to consider shutting the nation’s borders with some northern states as foreigners were coming into the country from those countries as part of the running party’s plot to manipulate the elections.
He also urged Nigerian voters living in those states not to sell their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) to those foreigners as that would go towards thwarting the will of the Nigerian elwctorate..
Abubakar made his pledge to create more jobs on Saturday during PDP’s presidential rally held at the Umuahia Township Stadium.
He said that Abia had become popular as the centre for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), adding that he had developed the strategies to make the state the hub for small businesses in Nigeria.
He said: “I am going to work with your governor to make sure we create millions of jobs for SMEs. Aba is the headquarters in the whole of Nigeria.
“We will create that hub and make sure Aba serves the rest of Nigeria. By doing that, we are going to create millions of jobs for our young men.”
He thanked the people of Abia for supporting PDP and urged them to protect their votes during the election.
Abubakar further said that the 2019 general elections would go a long way to determine the future of the nation, adding that it was pertinent for Nigerians to vote wisely.
Earlier, the National Chairman of the party, Chief Uche Secondus, had charged Nigerians, especially those living in border states of the North not to sell their Permanent Voters Cards, PVC, to foreigners.
Prince Secondus said that intelligence available to the party shows that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, imported foreigners from Niger and Chad Republics and are buying up PVCs from Nigerians with a view to manipulating the results.
The National Chairman spoke at the rallies of the PDP in Umuahia, Abia state and Benin, Edo state as the Presidential campaign train stormed the two states on Saturday.
Prince Secondus said that the Ministry of Interior should consider closing the nation’s borders in those areas until after the election.
He warned the Independent National Electoral Comission, INEC, to do everything to avert the thwarting of the will of Nigerian people on the election as that would breed violence.
“When we raise alarm about their rigging plot they get uncomfortable because they want us to keep quiet and let them manipulate the election but such will lead to violence and we want peace.
Prince Secondus charged the people of the Abia and Edo states to vote and remain at their polling booths until the votes are counted and recorded.
He said that PDP was committed to preserving the unity of Nigeria and urged the people of Abia and Edo states to vote massively for PDP candidates at all levels of the elections.
He also advised the electorate to take measures to protect their vote and resist any form of malpractice.
He called on the relevant agencies to put the necessary strategies in place to ensure that the elections would be free and fair.
Alhaji Abubakar also had an interaction with the Abia traditional rulers, where he urged them to mohilise their subjects to vote for all the PDP candidates at the polls.
There, he described the general elections as an opportunity for Nigerians to exercise their right to chose their leaders.
He said that as the traditional institution closest to the grassroots level, the monarchs had the capacity to influence the people’s choices.
He said: “Since the creation of Abia state, all the progress that has been recorded in the state has been made under the PDP-led government.
“It is good for the people of Abia to be consistent and consolidate on the progress made in the state,” Atiku said.
Responding, Eze Eberechi Dick, the Chairman of Abia Traditional Rulers Council, thanked the presidential candidate and the party for identifying with traditional rulers in the state.
Dick said that the people of Abia would support causes that would promote national unity and development to ensure even distribution of the dividends of democracy.
In an interview with newsmen, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu described Abia as a major stakeholder in the nation’s polity, having been acclaimed the SME capital of Nigeria.
“That goes a long way to show that Abia is the center of the nation’s economy. It is proper to have an industrialist at the helm of affairs,” Ikpeazu said.
Abubakar was later conferred with the chieftaincy title of “Aha eji aga mba of Abia.”
Other speakers at the rally in Abia state include the Vice Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and the former Senate President Adolphus Wabara as well as the National Organizing Secretary of the party an indigene of Abia state. Col (rtd) Austine Akubundu.
The rally in Edo State was also very successful.
The campaign train moves up north on Sunday to Kebbi state.