The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, assured the people of Benue State that he will stand to defend them when elected President in 2023, the same way he stood for the Tiv people during the pogrom at Zaki-Biam, Gbeji and Adoor as Vice President of Nigeria.
He stressed that his government will be a government of law and order and as a pan-Nigerian.
The former Vice President also stated that he will not only wipe away the tears of Nigerians but also rally the best brains and minds to lead Nigeria to national greatness, adding that he will guarantee absolute religious freedom.
Speaking at the 82nd Synod of the Universal Reformed Christian Church (URCC) a.k.a NKST at Mkar, Benue State, the PDP presidential candidate further assured that Benue State is his home just like Adamawa despite the challenges of present season of anomie and misunderstanding.
According to the PDP standard bearer, his relationship with the Tiv and friendship with prominent and iconic leaders such as Governor Samuel Ortom, late Senator Joseph Tarka, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Senator George Akume, Chief Terry Waya, Senator Gabriel Suswam and the prominent roles he has given sons and daughters of the State such as Dr. Ayu, Governor Ortom, Senator Suswam, Professor Iyorwuese Hagher, Chief Mrs Margaret Ichen and Hon. Chille Igbawua, in the management of his election in 2023, goes without saying how much he is at home with the Tiv people.
Atiku, who was represented by the Director (Election) of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Prof. Iorwuese Hagher and the Deputy Director (Elections Management) North, Hon. Chille Igbawua, also called on the Synod to pray against the evil forces that have held Nigeria captive, bred insecurity, destroyed the nation’s economy and created poverty across Nigeria.
He charged them to equally pray to God to provide healing for the land and to give Nigeria new leases of the nation in 2023 who would rescue Nigeria from plunging into the abyss.
“My party, the PDP is sensitive to the balance of power between Christianity and Islam in this country, for us to have a good life where peace is assured and we are guaranteed liberty and pursuit of happiness. Those who fail to respect our religious diversity have done it with usual impunity. They will not get away with it this time around”.
“I wish to conclude this address by pleading with my friends who in these moments of despair and darkness have seen me as a Fulani man rather than the Atiku Abubakar they knew. I remember how we stood together when I was Vice-President. I took a contrary position from our government against the pogrom at Zaki-Biam and Gbeji and Adoor. I stood with my Tiv brothers and sisters. We walked the streets of Zaki-Biam the day it happened, condemning the anti-Tiv violence and was vindicated years later when the army apologized. I am still the same person the Zege Mule u Tiv, I can assure you that when you elect me President, no Nigerian citizen will stay in bed unable to sleep because of foreign and domestic terrorists. My government will be a government of law and order and as a Pan-Nigerian President no ethnic group will feel excluded, marginalized and threatened. I am the same Atiku of yesterday I will stand by you as your President, Atiku Abubakar, the Zege Mule u Tiv and Waziri Adamawa,” Atiku said.
In his response, the President of the NKST, the most Reverend A.D. Anza, said the Synod will resist any attempt to make Nigeria a one-faith state, stressing that the PDP presidential candidate is a son of the soil and that the church will pray for him ahead of the 2023 general election.
“Atiku Abubakar is our son, we are going to pray for him to God to grant him favour and actualize his ambition.
“This is because we have the complete believe that God alone gives power to whom He wishes.
“We will not accept a same faith state and anyone who tries that sort of a thing is planning to plongue Nigeria in a problems. The Synod constitutes a sizeable percentage in this state and have the capacity that we need.
“For us in Benue State we have suffered alot from the hands of our enemies and we sincerely appreciate our Governor Samuel Ortom for his efforts.
“We are not going to say it is because a none Tiv man is at the helms of affairs that we are having this kind of Leadeship, the fact is that our enemies have vowed to takeover our land and impoverish us,” the cleric stated.