By Uche Mbah
Reports of the Political rally, organized by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Sokoto, appears to have unsettled the All Progressives Congress as reactions began to trail the Rally. Investigations indicate that the rally was devoid of personality attacks but more of issue based campaign.
One of the dignitaries that appeared at the rally was former president Goodluck Jonathan from neighboring Chad, with which Sokoto has a boundary-thereby tacitly admitting the ruling party is weak in border control. But Shehu Sanni, the garrulous former APC senator, countered by saying that “if the PDP imported crowd due to proximity, the APC imported their own crowd from Sudan due to affinity” He however did not elaborate on his meaning. El Rufai has been having a running battle with Sanni over political ideologies.
But the PDP left official response to the issue to the Sokoto state governor, Amino Tambuwal
In a release made available to this Magazine, Tambuwal claimed that the Apc was shocked by the crowd pulled. “The outcry by El-rufa’i is a testimony to the fact that APC and its leadership were shocked by the gargantuan crowd the rally recorded in Sokoto, which serves as the final burial of APC government in the Northwest and Nigeria in general because of perpetual failure, bad leadership, massive corruption, failure to end terrorism and other security challenges bedeviling our nation since the inception of Buhari’s administration in 2015.”, he said.
From Sokoto, they headed to Ilorin for more rallies.
There has been palpable consternation from the APC camp since the rally. But it appears the issue based campaign is clearly an anathema to them. Adams Oshiomhole , the APC national chairman, confirmed this recently when he hosted some Apc Women Leaders in Abuja. “The two candidates are from the North and they are both Muslims. We are going to look at character”, he said. He noted that Obasanjo once called Atiku a “thief” and has turned round to endorse him.
But the glaring absence of three South east governors to the rally raised eyebrows, sparking speculations that the three governors-Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and Okezie Ikeazu of Abia-stayed away because of the perceived coldness between them and Atiku due to their grouse that Atiku did not consult them when he chose his running mate, Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra state.
But Kola Olagbondayan, the PDP spokesperson, dismissed the notion as the figment of imagination of detractors.
“There is no sense in the insinuation since, going by the campaign time-table, the Presidential Candidate will visit all the zones, where all the governors elected on the platform of the party from those zones will be present. Abubakar’s next port of call will be Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Wednesday where the party will hold the North Central Presidential Zonal rally which will have in attendance state governors leaders, members and supporters of the party in the zone. This is the same arrangement that we have for all the geo-political zones of the country. “The so-called shunning of the Sokoto rally by PDP governors of South East extraction was only a figment of the imagination of those peddling the wicked rumor.”
Indications are that there have been high level consultations going on to plan counter strategies to checkmate the in routes into what is regarded as traditional APC enclaves. Recently, the APC, in a show of strength, went to Kano in a rally that saw large crowds gracing the rally.