The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jigawa State, Alhaji Babandi Ibrahim Gumel, has described former Senate President and frontline presidential aspirant, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, as a straightforward and simple leader deserving of trust.
Gumel made the comment on Thursday when Anyim, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) met with Jigawa State delegates at the party secretariat in Dutse, the state capital.
For the former Senate President who had been traversing the nooks and crannies of the country wooing delegates, it was, indeed, a glorious outing, with the delegates pledging their support.
While paying a courtesy visit to a chieftain of the party and former governor of the state, Alhaji Sule Lamido, in his country home, Anyim pledged to stabilise the country in six months.
“I promise that within the first six months of my administration, I will stabilise this country and prepare it for growth, peace and prosperity,” he told Lamido, protégé of the late Mallam Aminu Kano, the progenitor of talakawa politics, and the large number of party supporters who joined him to welcome Anyim.
“We must agree on the things that divide us. We must come to terms with what works for us. I will provide the platform to midwife this consensus.
“We will all work together to make Nigeria great again. I will provide that distinctive leadership that will build consensus across the country and reconcile Nigerians.”
Speaking earlier at the party secretariat, Anyim promised to make Jigawa an export hub of agricultural produce, even as he emphasised that Nigeria has a lot to learn from the state.
“Jigawa State, bedsides agricultural produce, has a lot more to export to other parts of Nigeria. Jigawa is the only state in Nigeria where there is no insecurity and there is no threat of insecurity.”
Welcoming Anyim to the party secretariat, Alhaji Gumel said that not only were the 91 delegates to the PDP National Convention scheduled to hold on May 28 and 29 in Abuja present, many elders and leaders of the party were also present.
The chairman described their presence as a mark of respect for and appreciation of the leadership qualities of the former Senate President.
With chants of Anyim, Anyim, Anyim intermittently renting the air, the former SGF, who described himself as a son of the soil, said the visit was actually homecoming for him.
Addressing the excited delegates, Anyim said: “I am most delighted by the number of leaders and elders I can behold here. I sincerely feel greatly honoured by the calibre of people here present today.
“I want to reemphasise that I am from Jigawa. I am a son of the soil and I have a senior brother here whose name is Sule Lamido.
“When I was contesting for the national chairman of our party in 2007, I was also in Jigawa and I enjoyed the very warm reception of the people that I decided to pass the night here.
“Then, Jigawa was a young state. But eight years of Sule Lamido as governor transformed the state and I am proud to be here once again.
“I have come to inform you that we are going to start a new journey and that journey is between me and my brothers and sisters in Jigawa State. We are starting a journey to go and occupy the presidential villa of Nigeria.
“As president, I will make the Hadejia-Jamare River Basin the best in Nigeria. By the time I expand it with the requisite infrastructure, Jigawa and the neighbouring states will be the richest in agricultural produce in Nigeria.
“When I landed at the Dutse airport this afternoon, I was, again, so amazed. It is one of the best airports in Nigeria but unfortunately, it is not a busy airport.
“By the time I expand the only cattle free zone in Jigawa State, by the time I finish expanding the Hadejia-Jamare River Basin, the export produce from Jigawa State will dominate the world.”
Besides agriculture, Anyim said the rest of Nigeria has to learn why Jigawa remains the most secure state in the country without.
“This is the only state in Nigeria where there is no insecurity. I asked my senior brother, Sule Lamido, how he did it. When we win the presidency, he will come with us to Abuja so that he will teach Nigerians how to fight insecurity.
“Jigawa State has something to teach Nigeria. Jigawa State will teach Nigeria how to fight and contain insecurity. With me as the president, I will give that opportunity.”
Anyim told the party chieftains that he was not in their midst to campaign and solicit for votes, but simply to let them know that “we have something to offer Nigeria.”
“We will offer Nigeria security, peace progress and prosperity. All of these are in Jigawa State and when the state partners with Anyim, Nigeria will also enjoy.
“We will work together to rescue Nigeria. We will work together to rebuild Nigeria, we will work together to advance Nigeria.
“Support me with your votes and Nigeria will be the happiest place in the world.”
In his remarks, Lamido urged for unity among the aspirants.
He said the opposition party has a sacred duty to bring back the country from the brink where APC has taken it to.
“PDP is not just a political party, it is a family. We are very organic. It is a party which is for each and every Nigerian. It is a party which does not believe in discrimination.
“Today, our biggest problem is how to restore trust among Nigerians. Unfortunately, in the last seven years of the APC government, everything has been balkanised along tribal, ethnic and religious lines and you see the consequences.
The goal of government anywhere in the world is to engender development. But you cannot develop unless there is trust which will engender stability. How do we restore trust in Nigeria?
“The PDP owes Nigerians a duty. Somehow, all we did in 16 years have been wiped out by the APC government because they are terribly incompetent. Their main desire is to attain power but attainment of power without using it for development is useless.
So I urge you and fellow aspirants to put Nigeria first. All of you must unite Nigeria through the party. What do you do to restore confidence?
“By the time one of you emerges as the candidate, we will all be there for each other. After all the campaign, at the end of the day, only one candidate will emerge. The others are very important.
“So, we must ensure that whoever emerges, we will rally around the person. As far as I am concerned, all of you are very competent.
“PDP is my blood. PDP is a party I cherish so much because it gave me everything, so I am willing to support anyone who emerges.
“I want the exercise to be very transparent and credible so that there will be integrity in the process.
“We should avoid the issue of turning the convention into a human trade fair,”Sule Lamido admonished.
The former Senate President was accompanied to Jigawa by the Director General of his campaign organisation, Dr. Mohammed Shuaibu, Hon. Idi Waziri, Hon. Ibrahim Uzoma, Senator Zego Azeez, Hon Agolia Imoni, among others.