THE adoption of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for the 2023 poll by northern Christian – Muslim politicians led by a former House of Representatives Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has kicked up dust in the polity.
The Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, APC PCC; presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Mr. Dumebi Kachikwu; and Mr. Peter Obi’s Labour Party, LP, Presidential Campaign Organisation, were among those who pooh-poohed the endorsement, yesterday.
However, an elated Atiku said the move was a consensus on his acceptability for the nation’s top job.
It’s PDP adopting PDP – Tinubu
The APC PCC mocked the Dogara-led group for adopting Atiku Abubakar as its choice for the election, saying it amounted to PDP endorsing PDP.
A faction of the northern group led by a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Babachir Lawal, had, few days ago, adopted Obi of the LP.
However, the Dogara faction swiftly dissociated itself, saying the former SGF was on his own as consultations were still ongoing.
On Friday, Dogara and his team named Atiku as its preferred candidate stoking criticisms in the polity.
Reacting to the development, Minister of State, Labour and Employment, who is also the Chief Spokesman for the APC PCC, Mr Festus Keyamo, said Dogara’s action had not altered any political permutation.
He said: “My very good and amiable friend and classmate, Yakubu Dogara, should have spared us all the drama. From PDP and back to PDP, nothing has changed; no alteration of political permutations. They were not with us in 2019 when we won. Wishing them all the best, except victory in 2023!”
Keyamo described Dogara’s group as peopled by members of the PDP, declaring that a group of PDP members have only just adopted their own candidate.
Endorsement out of tune with reality – LP
On its part, LP Presidential Campaign said Nigerians are tired of failed promises used by both the ruling APC and its predecessor, the PDP and are prepared to vote the two parties out in favour of candidates of the LP in 2023.
Chief Spokesperson for the Labour Party Presidential Campaign, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, told Sunday Vanguard, in Abuja, that the assessment carried out by Dogara and company before arriving at their decision was a far cry from Nigeria’s current political reality.
He said: “We are not in the least bothered by the endorsement. We are in a season of political activity and people are bound to make choices.
“For us in the Obidient and Labour Party, we are in touch with Nigerians across board especially the down trodden who are the worst hit when government takes the wrong decisions. Their verdict does not favour the APC or the PDP.
Voters don’t take such endorsements seriously— Kachikwu
Also speaking, ADC presidential flagbearer, Mr. Dumebi Kachikwu, said:
“Nigerians will take statements and resolutions like this seriously the day INEC starts issuing PVCs to associations and groups but for now it is one man, one vote. Such groups only speak for their membership.
“It is the same way sections of the media tout some as the leading presidential candidates even though they show decline in cognitive and physical abilities, offer no solutions to our myriad problems or tout fake numbers and statistics.
“This is happening at a time when our nation is confronted with a war that has had devastating consequences on her people and economy.
My endorsement by multi-religious group confirms consensus — Atiku
However, the Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation has welcomed the adoption of Atiku by cross section of Northern leaders working across religious divides.
It said Atiku’s adoption was a confirmation of the consensus among Nigerians across board that the PDP candidate remains the candidate of choice for most Nigerians.
Spokesperson for the campaign, Mr. Kola Ologbodiyan, in a telephone interview with Sunday Vanguard, in Abuja, said: “This adoption conforms with the consensus by the larger majority of Nigerians that all options weighed and considered, Atiku is the best among those seeking to govern Nigeria.“