The party leaders in the state made their position known during a meeting they held with Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who was in Makurdi to brief and seek the support of the national delegates to the PDP national convention on his aspiration.
In his speech, the state chairman, John Mgbede, said the North Central zone has paid its dues and played the role of stabilizer at critical period in the nation such that now that it has leading presidential aspirants with the clout and vision to provide better governance, the other zones should support the aspirants.
Mgbede however assured Saraki that the PDP delegates in Benue State have taken note of his address to them and his antecedents, particularly in the Senate, and that they will ensure that he will be remembered when it is time to vote at the convention.
“You have served very well. If you can stabilize the Senate the way you did in the last three years, then you can unite and hold Nigeria together. You have proved yourself as a defender of democracy. You have displayed competence, character, compassion and credibility and trustworthiness. You can count on us”, Mgbede said.
In his address to the delegates, Saraki told them that he has a long history with Benue State which dates back to the good relationship between his father and late Senator J. S. Tarka and that he has sustained this relationship by not toying with issues concerning the state.
“Benue State has been supportive. My objective in this race is to make Nigeria better. Benue can only be better when Nigeria is better and the standard of living of the people improved tremendously with infrastructure development on the rise.
” If elected President, I will give sense of belonging to all citizens. We should all be protected. We need to work together. If I am elected President, then you can be sure somebody from Benue has been elected President. We need a leader that is capable, competent, fair minded and with a sense of justice to grow Nigeria. We need a President that we can all be proud of.
“Great country emerges not by luck but through correct and visionary leadership. I have strived to keep the Senate together despite intimidation, suppression and oppression. Holding Nigeria together is a job that requires energy and youthfulness. We need to bring vigour, new vision, new ideas, creativity and thinking out of the box. I am tested. I served as governor for eight years. As Governor, I started a Programme to promote commercial agriculture. Benue State has to be declared as a zone for commercial agriculture. I was chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and I have been in he Senate for over seven years now and three of these years have been as President of the Senate.
“We have paid our dues in the North Central zone. We have worked for the unity and stability of the country. The time is ripe for us to provide competent and experienced leadership for this country”, Saraki stated.
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