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The Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of former vice president and flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has reiterated that the former Vice President was not responsible for the fact the people of the southeast were denied the presidential tickets of the PDP and All Progressives Congress (APC).
Rather, it pointed out that stakeholders of the zone lined up behind an aspirant from the South South, instead of backing one of their own.
Deputy Director, of Public Affairs (South), of the Atiku/Okowa PCC, Chijioke Agu, disclosed this in a radio programme monitored by The Eastern Updates in Enugu, Sunday, ahead of the party’s presidential rally in the state on Tuesday.
He called Atiku the PDP consensus at the party’s delegates’ conference in Abuja, adding that he is a nationalist who is determined to reconcile and reunite Nigerians. He stressed that the country had never been divided this way across ethnic lines in its history, adding that only a unifier that Atiku could pull the nation together, again.
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The PDP PCC further appealed to the people of South East not to put their eggs in one basket, after Atiku Abubakar emerged as a presidential candidate.
‘It is on record that when this zoning issue started in the party, it was an internal party issue. The same Atiku Abubakar declared openly that you cannot zone presidency to the South, that if you are going to zone presidency, you have to zone it to the South East, that if it’s zoned to the South East, that he will not run because the North East and the South East are the only two regions that is yet to produce a president.
‘The internal party mechanism of the party couldn’t get themselves to zone the presidency to the South East, and we could not watch the South-South candidate overrun everybody and take over the presidential ticket, because people had better things to offer Nigeria. And come to think about it, as much as we crave a president of South East extraction, we should also not be unmindful of the fact that we need national cohesion especially at this point in time in our nation’s growth.
‘It is critical that we understand that the challenges facing Nigeria have the capacity to tear this country apart and it requires urgent solutions.
‘So, it’s not Atiku Abubakar that denied South East a presidential candidate in the PDP or the APC, it is majorly stakeholders inside those systems that drove processes that led to people that are brightest having to leave the party to form other political parties. At the end of the day, we said we are looking for something and we got a better deal.
‘You will recall that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party as it is presently was groomed by Atiku Abubakar as his Vice-Presidential candidate, just four years ago, and he had even acknowledged in public that the man is his big boss; meaning that he can attest to the competence, the passion and the willingness of Atiku Abubakar to deliver Nigeria,’ Agu explained.
The Eastern Updates reports that the support for the PDP in the South East appears to be dwindling since the emergence of Peter Obi in the race.