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Atiku, who stated this while addressing a press conference in Abuja, insisted that he remained the stepping stone to the aspiration of the Igbo to produce Nigeria’s President.
He said, ‘When I ran in 2019, I picked an Igbo man as a running mate simply because I felt that after any other zone again, the next zone must be South-East. In 2011, I also picked another Igbo man. And in 2023, I also picked another Igbo man. And I have always said that I will be a stepping stone to an Igbo Presidency.
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‘Because there is no zone alone in this country that can produce a President on his own. I have always told my Igbo compatriots that you negotiate for power, you don’t fight for it.
‘So, for anybody to think that I have anything against Labour Party, I think Peter (Obi) was in a rush. Do you know why I say he was in a rush? When the campaign and our PDP governors sat down and said they must produce the next President, vice president, and Chief of Staff amongst them, Peter got scared and left. I did not get scared. I stood up against the governors and I fought them and won the primaries,so if he was there, nothing could have stopped him from becoming a running mate.’
Speaking further, Atiku said Obi “wounded” his outing in the election by taking away the votes he would have gor from the South-East and South-South.
He also said his party was ready to have an alliance with the LP if Obi was willing.
“The question of whether I will work with Peter or not, or whether Peter wounded the PDP; yes, to some extent, he did because all the votes he carried were PDP votes in the South-South and the South-East. Agreed, he took our votes from the South-East and South-South, that, of course, will not make him President. You all know that to be President of this country, you need votes from everywhere. So, as far as I am concerned, Peter is welcome to have a dialogue with the PDP
“We are ready to have a dialogue with him. I don’t think we will have any problem if he wants to have a dialogue with PDP either to form an alliance or not.”