- Former vice president Atiku Abubakar received the shock of his political career after his friend told him he would be campaigning for him in the 2023 presidential election
- The blow was handed to Atiku by the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu
- Ayu said that Atiku would have to work hard to gain the support of the people and he would not be a party to that
The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyiorchia Ayu, on Thursday, April 28, informed a former vice president of Nigeria and the party's presidential hopeful that he would not be supporting him during the 2023 election.
Ayu while addressing members of the PDP's national working committee and the campaign team of Atiku Abubakar, said he is a friend of the former vice president but will not work for him as a presidential aspirant.
"Let me acknowledge the fact that you and I have been close friends personal friends for more than 30 years as it was indicated, we were key players in the Social Democratic Party and key players in the emergence of Chief MKO Abiola.
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“So you are a presidential aspirant today. But I want people to know that you are still my friend. I can’t deny you I never deny my friends including those who are in the other disastrous party."
"You know them because even there we have common friends who miss road, who normally should be here with us."
Founding of PDP and members roles
Further speaking, Ayu said that since the PDP was formed he has worked together with many leaders including Atiku in various capacities.
For example, Ayu said he worked with Atiku to plot the emergence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and that the administration of the ex-leader did well by putting Nigeria on a healthy map economically, socially and politically.
“Again, I can’t deny the fact that we work together harmoniously, whether political issues or economic issues and on the National Security Council when I was Minister for internal affairs.
“I’m saying this to make it clear that those who say Oh, because of my personal relationship with you, as chairman, I’ll work for you."
"Mr Vice President, I will not work for you as an aspirant. I will work for all the 17 aspirants. It is left to you to convince the delegates of our party that you are the best."
Subsequently, he urged the former vice president to put in efforts to market himself to the people as he would not be a party to his campaign.
"This National Working Committee for now we remain an umpire. We are not going to take side with any particular aspirants. But we love you all.
"I’ve said repeatedly that each one of you given the opportunity will run this country better than what APC has done or will be able to do.”
2023 presidency: Anxiety as Atiku, Wike, Obi, others set sight on PDP’s big announcement
The zoning and consensus candidate controversy is on as the fate of north and southern candidates will be decided on Wednesday, April 4.
Presidential aspirants like Wike, Obi, and Fayose have vehemently rooted for the party to adopt the zoning policy.
Meanwhile, the northern counterparts like Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal, and Bala have all rooted for consensus candidacy.
We need a president that is agile in 2023, Tambuwal tells Nigerians
Meanwhile, Tambuwal had advised Nigerians against voting for any candidate older than 60 years in the 2023 presidential election.
He gave the advice in Jigawa state on Tuesday, March 15, after the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in the 19 northern states ‘endorsed’ his ambition.
The governor was represented at the event by his commissioner for youths and sports, Bashir Usman.