Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has disclosed why he rejected Bola Ahmed Tinubu as running mate in 2007 under Action Congress (AC).
Disclosing this when he held a consultative meeting with the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, Atiku begged the conscience of the party to give him another opportunity to advance the ideas of the party to consolidate democracy, unity and development of the country.
Atiku, who noted that another eight years of PDP in opposition may lead to the death of the party, charged the BoT members that they either retire together or move on together.
Urging the BoT members on why they should ensure PDP wins the forthcoming 2023 election, Atiku said, “Your Excellences, friends, brothers and sisters, we are now at a crucial moment in this country. Many of you here, it is either we retire together or we move on together.
“Somebody said that we recorded 12 million votes during the last election. Those are not only my votes, those were our votes. In achieving or recording those 12 million votes, it was all of us and I believe if we work together again, we can surpass those votes.
“As one of the speakers said, 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.
“Yes, people have not stopped talking about power rotation and zoning, or whatever it is. For sure in the party, 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.
“Many of you were members of our government when all the PDP governors came in 2003 and said I should run and I say no. We have agreed that power should remain in the South-West. Some of those governors then that supported me went to jail, some of them were kicked out of their offices, we made sure that we kept the policy.
“Therefore, you cannot imply that the PDP has not been following the zoning policy. In 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 which is inescapable.
“So I thought I should disabuse your mind and of course, as an enlightened political class. As far as this party is concerned, as far as we’re concerned, I don’t think there’s any deliberate policy to exclude anybody in this country.”
Appealing to the BoT for another opportunity, Atiku said, “I wish to call on you to please give me another opportunity to advance all these ideas of our party, well beautiful ideas. So that we will come further to consolidate democracy, unity and development for our country.”
Meanwhile, it has been revealed why the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP postponed the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to today.
The PDP NEC meeting was originally slated for Tuesday, March 15.
It was gathered that the NEC meeting was postponed over concerns raised by members of the party’s national caucus on the PDP timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 elections and the manifesto drafting committee.
Briefing journalists at the end of the national caucus meeting late on Monday night, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagbam said, “The national caucus meeting is adjourned to continue on Wednesday.”
He added that “the Board of Trustees meeting and NEC meeting will now hold on Wednesday, March 16.”
A credible source said that the major items on the agenda of the PDP national caucus meeting were “timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 elections, the manifesto drafting committee and guideline for primary elections.”
According to the source, all efforts to discuss these issues proved abortive as stakeholders requested at least a day to study the documents.