The spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation in the 2019 elections, Prince Kassim Afegbua has advised former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to shelve any idea of contesting the 2023 presidency.
Afegbua in a statement on Sunday said in the spirit of fairness, Nigeria shouldn’t have another northern president immediately after President Muhammadu Buhari completes his tenure in 2023.
He went ahead to slam Atiku, describing him as a professional aspirant year in, year out who should just retire from contesting.
While calling on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to deny Atiku its 2023 presidential ticket, Afegbua in a statement titled “2023: Atiku and the age of Methuselah politics, also called on the former Vice President to dump his ambition and rather support the zoning of the ticket to the south.
He added that age is also not on the side of Atiku and a younger person should be given the chance to lead Nigeria particularly with the experiences the country has had with President Buhari.
The statement read in part, “With the abysmal performance of President Muhammadu Buhari on account of age, incompetence, and lack of capacity and political will to take deliberate and sustained action to bail out the country from all manner of challenges, it will be immoral for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to continue to express interest in seeking election in the 2023 Presidential election having attained the retirement age.
“He cannot assume the role of a perpetual candidate or professional aspirant year in, year out, of the party as though the party was established for him alone.
“It defeats all sense of logic for such an old man to attempt another round of political contestation at a time the general feeling and mood in the country supports a younger Nigerian from the Southern extraction of the country.
“It will offend national sentiments, emotions and logic for anyone from the North to show such interest given our diversities and heterogenous political configurations.
“Given PDP’s doctrine of political power balancing and fairness, it will be against its own unwritten rule to cede the ticket to any Northern aspirant least of all, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“Having concluded the convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, with a new leadership that looks promising, the Party will have to rise above board to produce a Presidential candidate from the Southern part of the country to complete the narrative.
Afegbua accused Atiku of fleeing to Dubai after the 2019 presidential election was lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC), describing him as a General who abandoned his soldiers on the war front.
He said Atiku wasn’t available when supporters needed him the most but has now resurfaced with the intention of grabbing the party ticket again.
He said: “It was a case of a General abandoning his troops on the battlefield. Rather than draw strength from his presence, his absence exposed us to all manner of challenges. He was in Dubai and left us to our fate.
“When it mattered most for us to reach out to our candidate for motivation and necessary encouragement, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar vanished to thin air.
“Knowing full well that political activities were to take off, he suddenly resurfaced and became a frontliner in his quest to fly the party’s flag once again.
“That, to me, amounts to gross political selfishness and greed, which must not be allowed to flourish in our contemporary engagements.
“Even those who are promoters-in-chief of Alhaji Atiku’s aspiration, know in their heart of hearts that it is a project that is dead on arrival.”
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