The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 Election, Atiku Abubakar has declared that despite what the ruling All Progressives Congress would like Nigerians to believe, he did not lose the presidential election.
Atiku said this in an address to outgoing and incoming Governors Elected on the PDP platform, at a reception and award ceremony organised by the PDP Governors Forum, in Abuja, on Thursday.
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He admonished Party faithful to keep faith and remain focused on the task ahead which according to him is the recovery of the party’s stolen mandate.
At the event which was held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Atiku equally advised party members to take stock and unravel the mystery behind how the PDP slipped from being the oldest and dominant political party in 1999 to its present unenviable position.
Atiku said: “Next time, this kind of event can be organized earlier in the day to allow us more time so that all the issues, and challenges, facing the party can be discussed.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the PDP GF who is also the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwual, went down memory lane to recount how the forum began and what it has become.
He expressed confidence that he was leaving behind a United and cohesive body that has become a powerful voice which cannot be ignored in the nation’s body polity.
It is with pleasure that I warmly welcome you all to this important event, the first of its kind since the PDP Governors’ Forum was inaugurated in 2014. The Forum has existed informally, but on 12th October 2021, we formally registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a separate entity. Over the years the PDP Governors’ Forum has grown into an alternative voice in governance in the country. A voice that can no longer be ignored.
Tambuwual told the new and returning governors, “On behalf of my colleague Governors in the Forum, I welcome all of them to this event and into the Forum.
“You are the shinning armours of the party going forward. We are happy to bequeath to you, a Forum that is strong, cohesive and vocal in the defence of democracy and good governance in the country.
“ With the calibre of Governors’ elect I see here today, I can say confidently that our Forum is going to be in good hands.
“Also, gathered here today are past Governors who served meritoriously as Chairmen of the PDP Governors’ Forum. These men at different times piloted the transformation agenda which we all enjoy at various levels in various states today.
“For my colleagues, out-going Governors of our Forum, I commend all of you for your solidarity and comradeship. As a first among equals, I can vouch to the warm support and friendship of all the Governors of our Party.
“Sometimes, it was tough agreeing in all things, but we never forgot to put our interests behind that of our party, people and nation.
“The moments we have shared under this Forum have been moments of joy, learning, comradeship support for one another and a desire for the best of our Party, States and country. To you all, I express my gratitude.
“We are gathered today to celebrate and be celebrated for the progress we have made as a body, as a party and as PDP Governors’ Forum in particular.
“We will also be celebrating in a special way, past Chairmen of this Forum, who we have not formally expressed our gratitude to, as past Leaders of the Forum. This opportunity is one we have been craving for. I am happy to welcome them back to their home, once again.”
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his four other colleagues who together form the G-5 governors were conspicuously absent from the event which was equally organized to honour them for their contributions to the party over the years