How Bayelsans Gave PDP's Atiku Assurance In The Rain
The weather was cool, as people hurried to their places of work. As the sun rose and shone ferociously, no one anticipated a downpour.
By 9:00 a.m., Security agents in different uniforms were positioned in and around Oxbow Lake Pavilion.
The road which led from the flyover to Swali market was barricaded. Those who came from Ovom through Swali, trekked through open fields to the pavilion.
Big posters and banners of the Presidential candidate, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hung from both sides of the pavilion, showing what the growing crowd was all about.
Items such as; cooked food, drinking water, handkerchief, the party's hand flags, customised caps and wrist bands were sold by traders who occupied the walk-ways.
Adorned in beautiful yellow patterned wrapper, blouse and headgear, women from different communities arrived in big buses.
By 2:00 p.m., the venue was filled to capacity with different groups of placard-carrying supporters.
Young supporters of various groups wore T-shirts with different inscriptions and faces of their indigenous candidates.
Music blasted from big black speakers positioned at strategic places.
One after another, the women who sat according to the colour of their uniforms, took turn to dance and entertain the guests.
At exactly 3:05 p.m., the convoy of the Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, accompanied by former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state with his deputy, PDP National and state Chairmen, Mr Uche Secondus and Mr Moses Cleopas and several others drove into the arena amid cheers.
As they climbed the podium, dark cloud covered the scorching sun. The crowd sang, danced and cheered at the sound of rumbling thunder and occasional lightening.
Then the campaign began.
In his address to their supporters, Governor Seriake Dickson said: "Alhaji Abubakar is the only man who can address the problems of Niger Delta.
"He is not here to campaign because, he is already one of us.
"He came here to remind you of his promises of restructuring and massive job creation".
"We will vote for him," he finalised.
Mr Secondus took his turn and told the crowd that President Buhari had destroyed the country with impunity.
"The president does not care about the rule of law".
"Vote for Atiku Abubakar for a better Nigeria" he concluded.
By this time, the rain had gathered momentum. Some journalists hid their cameras under campaign banners while some supporters sang and danced in the rain.
Those who cared so much about their mobile phones ran from the rain.
In the midst of the children of God were also those of the devil and their work showed.
During that rowdy period, a female journalist lost her recording gadget, undisclosed amount of money and two mobile phones to thieves who disguised as party supporters.
The voice of Ex-President Jonathan brought calmness to the arena.
In his address, Dr. Jonathan referred to the presidential candidate as a good friend.
"I never knew l was going to be a governor talk more of being a President.
"Whenever l visited Aso Rock on assignment, Atiku treated me as a friend," he said and the crowd cheered him on.
"I urge you to give him your vote.
"He has made promises to us and we are
ready to work with him," he concluded.
After they have all spoken, Atiku Abubakar criticised the present administration as a failure and promised to tackle unemployment.
Giving the crowd an assurance, he said: "The issue of restructuring is a settled issue.
"Within the first six months of my administration by the grace of God, we will address restructuring".
With each promise, despite the heavy downpour, the crowd cheered and even the walls of other parties in the state could fall like that of Jericho by the sound that came from the crowd.
To the traders,
business was good, as they sold most of their goods especially drinking water
After the rally, the supporters, who were already soaked to their undies, trekked home, as there was no commercial vehicle in sight.
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