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By Eze Chukwuemeka
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Atiku Abubakar the leading Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party arrived Yola International Airport on 25th December, 2010 night to the warm embrace of his supporters and successfully met with the Adamawa State delegates on 26th December and on 27th December, 2010 left to Taraba State in a trip described as home coming by the Government and PDP Chieftains in Taraba State. On arrival at Jalingo the State capital of Taraba State the mammoth crowd that came out to welcome one of their own was unprecedented in the annals of the State. The Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Alh. Sani Abubakar Danladi on behalf of Governor Banbaba Suntai, Senator Dr. Anthony Manzo, Senator Kawu Abdullahi, Rt. Major General A. T. Ibrahim the Director Security Unit of Atiku Campaign Organization, Alh. Mohmad Ardo the Taraba Coordinator of Atiku Campaign Organization, Alh. Dogo Mainara Turaki Vanguard Coordinator in Taraba State and other government and party chieftains were among the crowd that was at the welcome to Jalingo gate to receive the man they described as the next President of Nigeria.

Apart from Alh. Dahiru Bobbo the Director General of Atiku Campaign Organisation, North East, Prof Maxwell Gidado the Director Legal Unit of the Organisation, other members of the Presidential Advisory Council that accompanied Atiku to Taraba were Prof Musa Yakubu, Alh. Yakubu Tsala and Alh. Habu Fari. Others were Alh. Ibrahim Bapetel the 2007 AC gubernatorial candidate in Adamawa State, Alh Danlami Garba (Zannaw Galambi) the North East Zonal Coordinator of Turaki Vanguard among others.

The visit united hitherto political opponents in the State as all campaign organizations of most of the key gubernatorial aspirants in the State were at hand to receive Atiku to Jalingo. Notably among them was M. T. Ibrahim Restoration Campaign Team, Suntai continuity Campaign Team among other various Campaign teams in the State.

At the Government House were Atiku met with the delegates from the State, Alh. Sani Abbakar Danladi the Deputy Governor who stood in for Governor Suntai told Atiku in no mistaking terms that Taraba State is his home State so he need not worry himself about where the delegates will vote during the PDP primaries to select its presidential candidate as the 100% of the State delegates votes belongs to him. Atiku in his speech thanked Governor Suntai, the government and the people of the State for the warm reception accorded him and his entourage stating that as rightly pointed by the Chief Host he is at home in Taraba State if the much he has seen since his arrival in the State is to go by. He assured the State of greater presence of the Federal Government projects in the State once he assumes office come May, 2011 as he could not do much for the State when he was Vice President of FRN as his duty then was more of advisory role.

At the newly commissioned State Secretariat of PDP the State Chairman of the party, Alh. Dr. Abdulmumini Vaki assured Atiku of the support of the party in the State in his aspiration as the party in Taraba State owes its existence and stability to Atiku even when he was a gubernatorial aspirant to the Adamawa State governorship seat in 1998 and the party in the State will not deny him at this particular time he needs the support of the party. Atiku is his speech stated that political party formation and management has become his career these past 25 years and urged PDP leadership to ensure that there is a level playing ground for all the aspirants and most importantly to allow internal democracy to prevail in the party as that is the only way the party can still maintain its relevance among Nigerians. He commended and congratulated PDP in Taraba State for being the ruling party for the past 12 years or so and wishes that the party maintains its lead in the State.

The Team was seen off at Welcome to Jalingo gate by 3pm by the Deputy Governor and other party chieftains and funny enough a journey of two hours to Yola took us seven hours because it seems that almost all the villagers through which the Atiku's convoy was to pass through to Yola were alerted of the passing of Atiku through their villages as their lined up on the road with their babies, the aged, the handicapped to sing and dance with Atiku and to add colour to the carnival type of exhibition, Atiku came out from his car in most of these villages to dance alongside with these villagers shouting 'Sai Atiku! Sai Atiku!! Sai Atiku!!!'. What a scene and what candidate!

Alh. Dahiru Bobbo the Director General of Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation while thanking the Team that accompanied Atiku to Taraba State assured Atiku and the rest of his followers that they have accepted the challenge of ensuring that President Jonathan does not get a single vote from the zone if he decides against common sense to contest the PDP primaries. Alh.Danlami Garba the North East Coordinator of Turaki Vanguard echoed the same stand that the zone only knows of one presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar! This strategy of Atiku of meeting with the delegates on one on one basis contradicts the style of President Jonathan of meeting the delegates through proxy.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze
National Director,
Directorate of Media & Public Affairs of Turaki Vanguard