From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to end the incessant killings of innocent farmers in Benue State if elected president in the forthcoming general elections.

Atiku made the declaration Monday at the Aper Aku stadium, during the PDP presidential campaign in Makurdi.

Atiku who sympathized with the state over their loved ones who have lost their lives in the last eight years said as the “Zege Mule U Tiv, a title given to him but the Tiv people, “I am the umbrella of the Tiv people all over the world. If you elect me as your president, just like I did in 2001 when I came to Benue and made the Fulanis sign a peace accord with their brother, Tivs, I will come and make sure peace returns to Benue state.”

While noting that Benue is the food basket of the country, Atiku regretted that farmers in Benue don’t go to farm again because of insecurity and pledged to ensure that security returns to the state.

He also promised to solve issues of unemployment saying, “we will allocate the sum of N10 billion US dollars to empower young men and women in enterprises.”

“The infrastructural deficit you are facing in the state in terms of connectivity with other neighbouring states will be a thing of the past because we are going to vote something for the development of old roads and railways to make sure our transportation system is once again working,” the candidate said.

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He pledged to end incessant ASUU strikes in the country through regular payment of salaries to lecturers and to fund the education sector adequately.

He appreciated PDP members in the state for their solidarity and patience just as he urge the people to vote only for PDP in the forthcoming elections saying Benue will not regret a PDP government.

Earlier, the National Chairman of PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, lamented that Nigerians have suffered hardships under the All Progressives Congress (APC) government, urging voters to vote massively for the PDP in the forthcoming elections.

“All of you know how you have suffered under the APC government in the last eight years. Only someone with a mental problem will vote for the APC. So do not waste your votes. Vote only the PDP,” he said.

Ayu who stated that the party is not divided explained that “what we have is some of our members who are aggrieved but I am appealing to my younger brother, Governor Ortom, to come back and join us to fight to rescue the country.

“There is no better party. Governor Ortom has nowhere to go. His only house is PDP and anytime he comes, we shall be more than happy to receive him and all the PDP governors. We have already resolved our issue with the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, and he has agreed to work for the success of our party.”