Politics

Atiku’s memo to PDP sparks speculations over 2023 presidential ambition

A former vice president of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has written a memo to the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party which suggests his intention to run for Presidency in 2023.

Although Atiku was silent on his purported 2023 ambition in the June 29, 2021 memo, the content is being linked to his presidential ambition.

An online medium which published the content of the memo verbatim on Saturday, reported that it was the former vice president’s notice to the PDP of his intention to seek the party’s presidential ticket two years from now.

Atiku, in the memo, expressed profound gratitude to members of the party for the massive support given him during the 2019 elections and said the party is now better equipped to win the 2023 polls.

Nigeria, according to him, is currently in the intensive care unit.

He wants the PDP to team up with him to undertake the needed drastic surgery for a new political and economic order that would lead to the radical reinvention of the country.

His words: “It is with the utmost respect that I convey to you my deep appreciation and profound gratitude for the overwhelming support and massive electoral votes cast to support our party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and my candidature for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the 2019 general elections.

“Now, we are better equipped, and all our compatriots must team up today towards a new political and economic order that should radically reinvent our beloved country.

“We are fully prepared to work in synergy to restore hope, pull Nigeria back from the brinks and relive the patriotic spirit of our founding fathers! I believe that together we would rebuild our broken fences, mend our cracked walls, restore hope, and return Nigeria to the path of greatness again. Surely, we can, and we must.”

Contacted on the phone for an explanation on the memo, Atiku’s media adviser, Mr Paul Ibe, claimed that the content of the memo was twisted to serve a certain purpose.

Ibe said when the time comes for Atiku to signify his intention to contest, he would not do so secretly through a blogging site.

Admitting that the memo truly emanated from his principal, he said there was nothing in it that suggested that it conveyed his intention to vie for the PDP ticket.

He said the letter contains nothing new that Atiku had not said before, adding that former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other prominent Nigerians had expressed similar views on the polity.

Ibe said: “Have you read the memo? Now tell me where Atiku indicated an interest in the 2023 PDP presidential ticket. You should know that when the time comes for him to make his intention known regarding the 2023 election, he will not do so secretly through a blogging site.

“The media and senior editors should not allow bloggers to set agenda for them. The memo speaks for itself and the contents were written in simple English that everyone can read and understand.”

Atiku, in the memo, insisted that the PDP actually won the 2019 presidential election, but that the election was rigged by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC).

He apologised to party members and some of his associates who felt abandoned as a result of his nine-month stay in Dubai shortly after he lost the 2019 election.

According to him, he went to the United Arab Emirates with the purpose of equipping himself with the skills required to fix the country’s challenges.

“Several persons, particularly associates and compatriots, may have felt frustrated. Some have even privately expressed so, while others have publicly complained that we have left them without leadership guidance to democratic forces who have visited severe stress on our political economy. I concede that individuals are justified to hold such opinions and even more. But they are not entirely correct.

“I assuage these feelings. Yes, I may have been apparently out of regular physical presence in Nigeria. My absence was not completely deliberate. Rather, it was strategic, as I have kept close contact and monitored events in our polity, reviewing and studying the changing dynamics.

“In addition, I also tried to undertake personal educational improvement, equipping myself with new knowledge, capacity, and skills that would methodically review the appalling situation. Our nation is indeed in the intensive care unit and would require delicate surgical procedures. We are all members of that surgical team.”

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