At the Ibadan campaign rally of Pres. Goodluck Jonathan, members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took turns explaining why the country would be better served by sticking to the Goodluck Jonathan-Namadi Sambo combination than giving their votes to the opposition candidates.
The PDP and APC have been campaigning in the South West this week and throwing all they have, because that zone has assumed a more prominent place in the permutations over who wins next month.
Here are 5 quotes from the event:
1. The Ondo governor, Olusegun Mimiko, made the argument which the PDP has been strenuously making since the start of the campaign: that Buhari is too old, past his prime and maybe even going senile. Mimiko’s argument was that the former head of state is not computer literate. Hear him:
“They don’t belong to this generation. Some of them cannot even click a computer yet they want to be president in Nigeria in 21st century. We say no. we say no, I don’t have much to say. We want a 21st century compliant president. We don’t want those that should have retired to play with their grand children at home to be our leaders.”
2. Mimiko was not yet done. Here’s another hit from him to the APC candidate:
“Some violent politicians are claiming ownership of South West but I do tell them that such ownership does not extend to Oyo State. Have you seen how massive we are? They say they want to rule you again. Ask them what they did for Nigeria, for the youth, for women, when they were there. The only thing he did was locking up their leaders like Adekunle Ajasin and Chief Olabisi Onabanjo for 300 years. Is that what you want?”
3. The PDP national chairman, Adamu Muazu, also emphasised the issue of the age disparity between the APC and PDP candidates.
“Why you should vote for the president. Our president is a very young, energetic and humble president. Number two, your gubernatorial candidate (Teslim Folarin) is young. Am I (Mu’azu) not young and energetic? Our president did his NYSC in Oyo State. Therefore the party that belongs to the younger generation of Nigeria is the PDP and our president is your president. He is humble and educated president.”
4. President Jonathan, during his own address, hammered on the issue of women advancement, saying that voting for Buhari will be a blow to the advancement and empowerment of women, a policy which his administration has been pursuing. He directly created a distinction between himself and the APC candidate by stating that unlike Buhari, he would keep the office of the first lady as it was an important one.
“We must encourage women. We are in the Southwest, which is an area that has produced so many great women. I’m sure more than 50 per cent female professors in this country come from the Southwest. Some parties have said they would scrap the office of the First Lady, office of the governor’s wife, and office of the local government chairman’s wife; they are going to ban Army Officers Wives Association, Naval Officers’ Wives Association, Police Officers’ Wives Association etc. I can tell you that these offices are helping to mobilise our women. These offices encourage all Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
“The money the first ladies spend does not come from government budget. They run NGOs. Nigeria has a lot of philanthropists who want to spend on good causes. They use some of these funds to help our women.
“I know that in the Southwest, you have trained your daughters in the best universities in the world. You cannot train your daughter in Cambridge, Oxford University and others and expect them to be mere baby factories.”
5. He hammered on the importance of education and the fact that his rise is due to the education he received.
“This government has built more tertiary institutions than any other government. For instance, we established 14 new universities. Twelve of them are conventional universities while two are for police training and maritime professional training… I believe that without education, we cannot change people. I am here today because I have education. That is why I believe that every Nigerian child should have the Goodluck opportunity… I will not build prisons for you. I will build schools for you.”