2023: Atiku Too Old to Lead Nigeria, Says Civil Society Groups
- More civil society groups are reiterating their opposition to Atiku Abubakar's presidential ambition in 2023
- Adamawa-born Atiku, 75, will be contesting for the presidency for the 6th time after his first attempt in 1992
- His presidential ambition has caused outrage in some sections of the society with many calling the former vice president a desperate politician
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Lagos - Some civil society organisations have declared that they would not support any aged candidate for the presidency in the 2023 general elections.
They spoke against the backdrop of the declaration of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who declared to contest for the presidency under the Peoples Democratic Party in the forthcoming elections.
Speaking to Punch newspaper, the convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy, Dare-Ariyo Atoye, said that Nigeria could not afford to have a repeat of the Muhammadu Buhari-led regime by voting Abubakar come 2023.
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“What we suffer under Buhari is not something that we should again repeat. We deserve the best. We deserve a leader who is mentally aware and would be readily available. Atiku would not be able to tackle the humongous challenges that confront this country on a daily basis.
“Vice President Atiku Abubakar has served this country and made himself available but I think this is the time for him to support a younger, competent person to succeed president Buhari.
“It would be painful for him because it has been a lifelong ambition but there is what we call ‘a place of sacrifice’. He must be grateful to God for the opportunities he has been given.”
A lawyer and political activist, Festus Ogun also said:
“The presidency is not something that should be exclusively reserved for old people. It is not a retirement plan for rogue politicians. That is the truth.
“The simple reason is that we must ask ourselves why we ask civil servants to retire at 65 and 70. By the time you get to a particular age, there is a limit to what you can do at a particular age.
“We must insist that we don’t repeat the mistake of the Buhari-regime. Again, is it desirable that Nigeria should have a president that would spend most of his time on a sickbed?”
2023: Don't vote for parties that failed in the past, presidential aspirant tells Nigerians
Meanwhile, a presidential aspirant, Malik Ado-Ibrahim, has called on Nigerians to ensure they do not vote for individuals or political parties associated with failure.
Speaking at a recent event in Abuja, Malik Ado-Ibrahim who is vying for the position of president on the platform of the Young Progressives party urged Nigerians not to make the same mistake they made in the past.
He further warned that Nigerians cannot afford to make another mistake in the next general election considering that the challenges bedevilling that nation have continued to stall Nigeria's development.
Obasanjo to Nigerians: Don’t vote aspirants claiming youths bought forms for them
Similarly, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked Nigerians not to vote for presidential aspirants claiming that some political or youth groups bought their nomination forms for them.
Obasanjo made the comment in Lagos during a colloquium to mark the 61st birthday of Pastor Itua Ighodalo saying:
“Anybody who would come out to tell you such a lie, you shouldn’t vote for him. Which youths gathered N40million? If you want to buy it, buy it and tell us. You don’t need to lie to us.”