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Atiku, Tambuwal, Mohammed Indicate Interest For 2023 Presidency

Atiku, Bala, Tambuwal
Atiku, Bala, Tambuwal

October 22, (THEWILL) – Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde on Thursday disclosed that former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar and two current serving governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and his Bauchi counterpart, Bala Mohammed; have indicated interest to contest for the 2023 presidency.under the platform of the party.

His revelation came amidst controversy over calls by Southern leaders for a power shift.

Speaking on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television, Makinde said the PDP has “eminently qualified” personalities that can lead the country successfully.

The governor said the only way to stop the PDP in 2023 is by dividing the party, adding that the governors elected on the platform of the party understand the need for unity ahead of the next general election.

His words: “I make bold to say that the situation in this country today, the only way that you can stop PDP at the federal level is by dividing PDP internally.

“All the governors of the PDP are well aware of this fact and we made unity within ourselves our number one priority. Once the governors of PDP are able to move in one direction, align on most of the issues and the challenges we are faced with, I think there is hope for this country.

“The issue right now is that our party — PDP — has eminently qualified personalities that can lead this country successfully. Some have indicated interest like former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, like governor Tambuwal, like governor Bala Mohammed.

“They have indicated interest. But the bottom line is when we get to that bridge, we will definitely cross it. What is important at this stage, which I will solicit the support of PDP members and the generality of Nigerians, is please support us to have a successful national convention.

“There is no way you can become anything — president, vice-president, even governor — if we don’t have a party. What we want to do first is ensure that we get things right within our party.”

Asked if he thinks the PDP will take over power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023, he said: “Well, it is a question that I know Nigerians will answer and they will answer decisively.”

On the disqualification of three PDP leadership aspirants by the Convention Screening Committee of the Party, especially when the party had once pardoned its members of similar offences, Makinde said, “At some points, you have to draw the line. Yes, people have been doing things in the past and they have been getting away with it. But there has to be a point where the party will have to say, ‘Enough of this!’

“You have the internal mechanism of the party to settle any issues that you may have. Besides, what exactly are we trying to do? We are trying to send a message to Nigerians: we are going towards the general elections in 2023 and we need to let Nigerians know that this is a party that will stand for discipline, unity, and a party that they should look up to whenever they are thinking of how to fix the problems that we are in. And we cannot do that in an atmosphere of impunity.”

Makinde also disclosed that he had settled with a former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose over the leadership of the PDP in the South-West.

“We have put all of that behind us; that was before the PDP zonal congress. We are done with the zonal congress. It has come and gone. I am going to be at Governor Fayose’s son’s wedding on Saturday”, he said.

According to the governor, it is the first time in the history of the PDP and political parties in Nigeria where a party is about to hold an elective convention, and out of the 21 positions to be contested, about 16 have been settled through consensus including the national chairmanship position.

He said, “We need to tell Nigerians that first we are disciplined and second, this is a party that is ready to unify this country. What more can we prove?

“If all the various stakeholders across the geopolitical zones in this country; if they are coming together and saying that one of the basic problems that we have to face and fix from 2023 is the issue of (dis)unity in this country…we have never been this divided since I became an adult and started following things in this country…then, it is a big thing that we gave to fix. And if we as a party are demonstrating that we can come together and settle our issues without going to the field to slug it out.”