THE spokesperson, Presidential Campaign Management Committee for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Dino Melaye, says the party’s presidential flagbearer in the election, Atiku Abubakar, is being persecuted by some party members for adhering to democratic tenets.
In a statement he released today, Melaye said no matter how anyone protested, Abubakar would not compel any of the party’s leaders to resign.
The ICIR had reported on Friday, September 23 how Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, continued his attacks on Abubakar and the party’s leadership at an interview with select journalists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Wike, who dared the PDP leadership to expel him, vowed, among other threats, that the PDP presidential candidate would fail in the coming polls.
The Rivers State governor had contested the PDP’s ticket with Abubakar but lost.
His name was among the three nominees submitted to Abubakar as a vice presidential candidate, but the latter opted for Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
Wike maintains that the only reason he will support Abubakar is for the PDP chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, whom he accused of working against his emergence as the party’s presidential candidate, to resign.
But Ayu has vowed to remain in office.
The candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, latched on to Wike’s tongue-lashing to predict Abubakar’s loss in the coming poll.
Melaye, however, gave what appeared a reaction to Tinubu’s prediction, in his statement, which read in part, “The hawkers of spin in the camp of Ahmed Bola Tinubu are at it again, this time latching unto a debatable forecast to award victory to a delusional candidate who claimed that the presidency of Nigeria is a categorical entitlement.
“The Palace jesters are gloating over the orchestrated amplification of the agitation by some members of our party to sing a dirge, forgetting that advocacy is not only normal in a democracy, their very idol went riotous and danced naked in desperation when he sensed that the ticket of his discredited and failed political party was eluding him.
“Through sheer arrogance, impudence and indiscretion, Bayo Onanuga the mouthpiece of the hallucinators and hawkers of illusion, took the place of INEC by declaring a loss of election for the most promising flagbearer in the 2023 Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar. May the self-acclaimed rivals of God be reminded that power belongs to God.”
Melaye argued that as a long-standing democrat, Abubakar would not sacrifice those elected by the party for his ambition, to please “autocratic democrats.”
According to him, if the PDP presidential candidate lost the support of some party members on account of adhering to the rules, he would be satisfied that he acted rightly.
He added that the country’s failure stemmed substantially from the dominance of strong men who trample on weak institutions, stressing that Abubakar would continue to support the enthronement of strong institutions that would minimise the excesses of “political goliaths.”
Melaye noted, “As it happened to Goliath, strong men get defeated, no matter the length of their domination. Waiting to benefit from the internal synthesis that may play out in the PDP is a wait in futility. The tears of opposition are only flowing from the demonstrable capacity of Atiku for political sagacity.
“This contest will be a long haul. No shortcut, no award and no conferment of entitlement.”
Alluding to the claim by Wike that Tinubu offered him a senatorial ticket to support his candidacy, Melaye claimed Abubakar would never do such a thing.
“This is what Atiku will not do. It is, in fact, for the defence of democracy and respect for due process that Atiku is now being persecuted,” he said.
The ICIR reports that both Abubakar and Tinubu are running against Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples’ Party (NNPP) and other candidates in the presidential election slated for February 25, 2023.