Former Minister of Works and strong supporter of Bola Tinubu’s presidential bid, Dayo Adeyeye, says division in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has done a colossal damage to the chances of its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the 2023 presidential poll.
Adeyeye spoke Thursday on a political programme on the African Independent Television (AIT).
On the rumoured meeting of Tinubu and the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, in London to perfect alliances ahead of 2023, Adeyeye, who was enthused by the move, said it would further brighten the former Lagos State governor’s chances of clinching the presidency.
The former minister said he was optimistic that Tinubu had a strong political network across Nigeria to defeat Atiku and other opponents without going into a run- off, as being predicted.
He said, “Tinubu has the network and strong political structures to amass 25 per cent of votes in two/third of the 36 states. There won’t be any need for any run- off, because the APC has a strong candidate that can deliver.”
Adeyeye said the defection of strong politicians, who had emerged as presidential candidates in other parties, would automatically affect Atiku’s chances in the forthcoming poll.
He said, “You could all remember that the PDP lost in 2015 presidential poll to President Muhammadu Buhari, because five governors defected to the newly formed APC. And if you look at the strength by adding five governors to the then APC, the two parties were nearly of equal strength and that affected the ruling party.
“So, in the coming election, the same scenario is playing out. About four months ago, Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso belonged to the same party. So, Obi and Kwankwaso, who are now in LP and NNPP will divide the votes that are supposed to be for Atiku in the coming election.
“But if you look at the APC, the party is intact and strong behind Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Though some few people had defected and I think that affected all the major parties. If you look at the two main parties, you will realise that APC is the one that is more cohesive, stable and intact.”
The SWAGA leader said though he could not confirm whether Tinubu and Wike were in alliance talks, the River State governor joining the APC candidate would further enhance chances of Tinubu’s victory.
According to him, “Governor Wike had always insisted that power must rotate between the North and the South for justice and equity. So, if he supports us, it means he wants to be party of the struggle to ensure political balancing between the North and the South and that will be good for APC.
“What the PDP did by giving the presidency to the North after eight years of presidency was a betrayal of trust and confidence. If not for Tinubu, the APC could have been in the same mess now. His participation in the primary prevented a northern aspirant from emerging in APC, because of his strength and network.”