Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has said the decisions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on zoning and others will determine its chances in 2023.
Speaking during the opening session of the party’s 94th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at the PDP National Secretariat, on Thursday, Atiku said the PDP has the right to determine its rules on how the party should be governed while the people of Nigeria also have the right to determine who govern them.
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Atiku’s political allies have confirmed that he is warming up to contest for president in 2023.
But his party, the PDP has zoned the chairmanship slot to the North, indicating that its presidential ticket would go to the South.
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 general election, said where the president comes from has never been the problem of Nigeria.
The former Vice President said PDP governors and other members of the party had in 2003, asked him to contest for president on grounds because they did not want Obasanjo to win a second term, but he refused.
“The PDP has the right to determine its rules on how the party should be governed. The people of Nigeria also have the right to determine who govern them.”
“Where the president comes from has never been the problem of Nigeria. There is no such thing as a president from Southern Nigeria or a president from Northern Nigeria.
“There is only one president from Nigeria, for Nigeria, by Nigerians. Talking about inclusions, I would like to see a new National Working Committee (NWC) of our party, our great party that has sizable numbers of our youth and women.
“The decision of NEC today will either see PDP into the villa in 2023 or not. Since the inception, this party has faced serious challenges and have risen above sentiments to solve those challenges and moved forward.
“Now let me come to historical events, which I said I was going to cite. Those of us who served in the constitutional conference, which drafted the current constitution of Nigeria, sure, remember that after we finished the draft of that constitution, we all met as members of the constitutional conference and resolved to correct the injustice that was done to a particular part of this country.
“And we said in whichever party you found yourself, your presidential candidate must come from the southwest because Abiola had won election, not only did he win, he was killed.
“So we all agreed as members, and we went out of the constitutional conference, and we formed our parties, those of us formed PDP others formed ANPP, those who forms AD formed AD.
“At the end of the day, there were two alliances in two parties. PDP brought General Obasanjo, ANPP brought Olu Falae. This is to show you that Nigerians have a sense of fairness.
“More or less distinguished members of NEC in 2003, all the PDP governors and some members of the party met me at the villa and said, they were not going to support President Obasanjo for a second term, that I should run.
“I now referred them to the resolution of NEC, where NEC, decided that power should remain in the Southwest for eight years. How do you want me to go against the resolution of NEC and I turned it down, and we moved on. So this country has a sense of fairness. This country has a sense of justice, this country has a sense of fairness.
“Therefore, this thing that is in-built in our party, we should be able to use it, to embed it, to make sure today’s deliberation is in the best interest of our party, in the best interest of Nigeria, which will ultimately give us the victory that we asked for, to go back to the villa,” Atiku said.