FORMER Vice President Atiku Abubakar has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) to support his quest to clinch the party’s presidential ticket for the 2023 general election.
Atiku informed the BoT members of his intention to run for president at a consultative meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
Warning that the PDP might not survive another eight years in opposition, the former vice president said the party should ignore calls to zone the presidency to the southern part of the country and instead support him to emerge as the presidential candidate.
Atiku argued that 14 of PDP’s 16 years in power were led by southern presidents, including Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.
He equally warned that the PDP should not copy the All Progressives Congress (APC) by zoning its presidential ticket to the South.
“I am worried and you should be worried too that if we do not win, it means we will be in opposition again for the next eight years.
“By the next eight years, I don’t know how many of us will be left in politics and it may even ultimately lead to the death of the party because people gravitate, particularly in developing countries, towards governments. So this is a very crucial and historical moment in history, for our survival.
“We invented and formulated this zoning policy simply because we wanted every part of this country to have a sense of belonging and I personally have paid my dues on the issue of zoning.
“Therefore, you cannot come and try to imply that the PDP has not been following the zoning policy. The many years of PDP government eight years and six years all of them were from the South. So, we should not be stampeded by the opposition party. They have a moral obligation.”
Stressing that he was the most qualified for the PDP presidential ticket, Atiku noted that the Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007, in which he served as vice president, recorded remarkable achievements that have not been matched by any subsequent administration.
Atiku had, unsuccessfully, contested five presidential elections – in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.