Politics

2023: I assume I have Obasanjo’s support – Atiku

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Friday said he assumes former president Olusegun Obasanjo has thrown his weight behind him for the 2023 general election.

Atiku said this while responding to questions on Arise TV.

He was Nigeria’s vice president between 1999 and 2007 when Mr Obasanjo was the president.

Speaking on the rumoured animosity between the former President and himself, Atiku said he has been in touch with Mr Obasanjo even after emerging the party’s flagbearer.

He promised to continue building on the former president’s legacies if he emerges president.

Speaking on the need for Mr Obasanjo’s support in the actualisation of his ambition, Atiku said, “Why will I not need his support? He was my former boss. Of course, I will need his support. I assume I have it.”

The emergence of Atiku, a northerner, as the PDP’s presidential candidate elicited controversy within the PDP, with some party chieftains insisting the ticket ought to have been zoned to the south.

The former vice president’s decision to pick Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Rivers State as his running mate, further angered some party members who believed Nyesom Wike, the Rivers governor, was a better choice.

In his interview with Arise TV, Atiku noted that he was already reaching out to the Rivers state governor, adding that all grievances in the party will soon be sorted by the party.

“We are talking to his(Wike) governor colleagues.I am very optimistic we are going to resolve our internal crisis and move on.”

Explaining how he picked his running mate, Atiku said, “The committee that was set up at my own instance deliberated. There was no vote, and they recommended three names, because they knew it was my prerogative to pick anyone of the three. So, there was actually no vote. If anyone said they voted, It’s not true.

“He, Governor Ortom himself, chaired that committee. He knew there was no vote taken, and I have the report of that committee. The committee recommended three people and I picked one. I did not go out of that recommendation. So, I think people should be fair to me and should also state the fact.”

Atiku, who described Mr Wike as an influential politician, was, however, silent on allegation of whether he promised to choose Mr Wike as his running mate of not. (PREMIUM TIMES)
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