- Prepares to meet Obasanjo
By SUNDAY ODIBASHI
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who recently resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in preparations for the 2019 presidential election has sustained undeterred consultations and horse trading for his return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The former vice president has held consultations with his local ward in Adamawa State and the State PDP leaders on his proposed return to the Opposition Party. Thereafter, he held further consultations with the PDP leaders in the North East, his broader bloc political enclave, form where he will launch himself into the national political structure.
The former vice president has already held talks with former President Goodluck Jonathan, who perhaps, is ready to endorse and support Atiku, advised him to go and beg former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Atiku, accordingly, accepted the advice and has been preparing to make the political pilgrimage to him former boss.
Atiku’s intention of returning to the PDP for his presidential ambition is obvious to all stakeholders in the party. The APC ticket is tentatively ‘closed’ since incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is already preparing to return for a second term in 2019. The Buhari’s second term ambition has generated controversies in the ruling APC that there is no automatic ticket for the president. Some APC stakeholders have insisted on the incumbent president allowing the conduct of party primary to elect the ruling party’s presidential candidate for the 2019 election. Former Interim Chairman of the APC, opened the salvo on the president; thereafter, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State joined the league which was ultimately reechoed by APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
However, APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had earlier said that the ruling party will first give President Buhari the choice of refusal before considering throwing open the race for the party’s ticket for the 2019 presidential race.
More so, APC governors have also declared their endorsement of President Buhari for second’ term in office, leading internal campaign for automatic ticket for the president.
Tinubu, however, insisted on transparent process in giving the presidential ticket of the party to any member, remarking that President Buhari is the principal beneficiary of due process and transparency in the decisions of who gets what, when and how from the ruling party.
The political configurations in the APC indicated that the presidential ticket of the party has already been decided and Atiku considered it wise to proceed in search of another political platform to pursue his presidential project who he commenced 24 years ago in 1993 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Atiku’s inroad into the political machine of the PDP, has been offsetting the status quo ante on projections of the presidential ticket of the party.
Apparently, some PDP leaders have already declared their intentions for the party’s presidential ticket in 2019. These include Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, former Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State, some non-state actors are also canvassing for former Senate President David Mark to join the presidential race, while some PDP leaders were looking in the direction of former Governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, who is the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the PDP.
However, the PDP presidential ticket has been zoned to the North, that technically, knocks Fayose out of the race.
Those angling for Makarfi also have skepticism over his health status; some however, insist that he can still carry on with the presidential job.
The Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Alhaji Walid Jirbin, Waziri Nassarawa, had in articulating the readiness of the PDP to receive Atiku back to the party, admonished that the ticket presidential ticket will not be automatic for the returnee Atiku. He admonished that the former vice president will be prepared to contest the party ticket with other aspirants.
Furthermore, Atiku had been cautioned that other aspirants are also strong contenders for the presidential race, indicating that he has to work very hard.
This is, however, one game Atiku knows how to play best. He has deployed his political sagacity and potent structures for deep political simulation and overtures which have been permeating the fabrics of power spectrum in the PDP as the party prepares for its National Convention on Saturday, December 9, 2017 to elect substantive national chairman and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC).