Faced with growing resentment among party faithful, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he is responding to concerns and criticisms in order to unify the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Party stalwarts, including Benue Governor Samuel Ortom and former Ekiti governor Ayo Fayose have in the last 24 hours openly registered their reservation against Mr Abubakar’s run for the 2023 presidency.
While Mr Ortom aired his disavowal of the manner Mr Abubakar picked his running mate, Mr Fayose insists it’s the turn of the South to produce president having endured President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight-year reign
Messrs Buhari and Abubakar are both of the northern Fulani stock. Nigeria’s presidency has rotated between the North and South since the advent of the Fourth Republic.
But reacting, Mr Abubakar said “Every Governor, Legislator, and other elected officials produced by our party, and party members and loyalists, are much loved and respected by me. When they speak, I listen. I do not only listen. Appropriate actions have been taken, are being taken, and will continue to be advanced. -AA.”
Much of the latest discontent against Mr Abubakar stems from how he sidestepped Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike, the runner up in the party’s presidential primary election which he won, to tap Delta Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his vice presidential candidate.
Mr Ortom, an ally of Mr Wike, says Mr Abubakar insulted the Rivers governor by disregarding the recommendation of a committee which had put him forward for the position.
Mr Atiku, who spoke through his official Facebook page, on Thursday, said he was not taking any member of the party for granted as the unity of the party is paramount to him.
“The Peoples Democratic Party will remain united. Focus on our actions. We are taking action to address the feelings of all party members,” he assured. “The unity in our community is my priority. Our resolve to unify Nigeria starts in our party and moves to the community, then on to society.”
Source: Peoples Gazette.