By Dirisu Yakubu
Atiku whose ambition to contest the 2019 Presidential election is public knowledge has literally turned the beautiful bride of various support and power blocs within the party. Only a few days ago, the PDP Northern Elders and Leaders Forum gathered at a popular hotel in Abuja where it was expected to meet with the former Vice President.
However, the Turakin Adamawa did not turned up; a decision carefully taken in order not to give himself away as a supporter of one group against the other.
Our correspondent gathered that the Northern elders and leaders would have used the opportunity of the meeting to seek Atiku’s support for one of the chairmanship aspirants, Professor Tunde Adeniran.
Investigation by this medium revealed that while Atiku is aware of the popularity and chances of all the chairmanship aspirants, he is guiding against open endorsement of any, in order not to send the wrong signals to the various contending camps.
Aware of the support he needs from across the geo-political zones for his own aspiration, the returnee erstwhile Vice President, Vanguard gathered, is sitting on the fence in the interim.
A party source told this medium on the condition of anonymity that the step taken by Atiku is an indication of his mastery of the game of politics, stressing that no serious politician with an eye for people’s votes would act before thinking.
“This is not the time to align with one group against the other. For Alhaji Atiku who has just returned to the party after a few years on sabbatical with the All Progressives Congress (APC); this is the time to stay friendly to all and antagonistic to none,” he said.
Although some influential PDP stakeholders like Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Mallam Attahiru Bafarawa and Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo have all indicated interest to seek the party’s Presidential ticket in 2019; Vanguard can authoritatively report that the PDP is conscious of the dangers of fielding the wrong candidate, if only to avert similar situation that led to the loss of the 2015 Presidential elections.
A former spokesperson of the party told this medium in confidence that though the PDP is confident of its chances in 2019; it will nevertheless, field a candidate with strong national appeal. While noting that independent findings have revealed the depth of ‘hatred’ for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); 2019, he noted will offer his party another opportunity to serve Nigerians “With the delivery of democratic dividends in all facets of our national economy.”
When asked if forces within the party would rally support for Atiku’s Presidential ambition; the soft spoken politician stressed the need to await the declaration of interest in the race by Atiku before talks about mobilizing for or against him can begin.
Discussing Atiku in the absence of a formal declaration of interest, he insists, would be insulting to the “Highly esteemed leaders of our party that have declared interest to run for the office when the process begins.”
He said: “Atiku has just returned to the party and we are very happy. The next step is for him to inform the party leadership on whether he is running or not but there can be no smoke without fire.
He has been consulting with influential members of the party across the federation. And until he speaks up, let’s allow him to enjoy his peace for now, having just returned to where he truly belongs.”
But in what appears a contradiction of the position earlier canvassed, our source when asked about the manner of man the PDP would throw up for the Presidency in 2019, had this to say: “We have credible people and excellent materials to rule this country. We are talking of people that are very experienced, people that have served in various capacities in the past.
“But to win election to become President, you need a man that is acceptable to the North and South of the Nigerian divide. A man that is acceptable to the Muslims, Christians and other beliefs,” adding that “Atiku is widely known and hugely popular across the country.
Source: Vanguard News