2023: Atiku Unlikely To Get PDP’s Presidential Ticket – Chieftain

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has dismissed chances of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to get Presidential ticket of the party in the 2023 election.

The PDP stalwart, a former governor from the North-West geo-political zone stated this yesterday in an exclusive chat held in Abuja. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he noted that the increasing powers of governors, not only in their respective states but at the national level of the party, make it difficult for an outsider to beat “whoever the governors would endorse for the office.”

According to him, signals are coming from the governors that should not be dismissed by the camp of the Vice President, stressing that only recently, two governors were bold enough to tell Atiku some home truths.

It would be recalled that a fortnight ago, Bauchi state governor, Senator Bala Mohammed while receiving a report of a Contact and Mobilization Committee, bared his mind on Atiku’s 2023 Presidential aspiration, saying, “We invited him (Atiku) to Bauchi and we interacted and I told him that in this game, I know he’s the most senior.

He’s very qualified but because of his age and fatigue- he has suffered so much for Nigeria, he should allow his younger brother to be his spare tyre, not to take over just like that. But if Nigerians prefer him, I will support him. I am not too desperate but he should know that Nigerians like me too. And whatever he wants, I will do it for him. So this is our agreement; he has the highest respect from me.”

Like Mohammed, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state was to follow suit as he took advantage of Atiku’s visit to his state a few days ago to remind him that his people were not happy with him.

For the PDP chieftain, “Atiku should heed these warnings and make an informed decision because times and seasons have changed. He continued: “This may sound unbelievable in some quarters but truth is, the governors are now in firm control of the PDP such that without their support, it is almost impossible to get anointed for an elective office on the platform of the party.

“Don’t forget how Atiku, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki lost out in the last elective convention. They now know that it is their hands to dictate what happens within the party as 2023 approaches. So, if you ask me, I will say the only way Atiku and anyone for that matter can become the party’s flag bearer is to negotiate with them (governors).”

It appears every move by Atiku to court the understanding of any PDP governor has been politely rebuffed the following report that on meeting with the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike a few weeks ago as part of his ongoing consultation to run for the Office of the President; the governor was said to have spoken with certainty that he would only support a Southern aspirant to emerge.

He was said to have asked the erstwhile Vice President to go about his aspiration with an open mind so that if the leadership of the party decide to go South in search of a candidate; every party leader and member including Atiku would have no choice but to stand with the party.

Already, an unnamed governor from the South-South is alleged to be the force behind the recent onslaught against Atiku by ex- Information Commissioner in Edo state, Prince Kassim Afegbua who in a widely circulated statement counseled the former Vice President to quit the political stage having to be in the corridors of power for decades.

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