Ahead of 2023 general elections, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has called on Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders to unite for the sake of the party’s interest and the country, saying it was incumbent on the party to resolve its internal squabbles and emerge as a viable alternative for the ruling party.
He said that the party could not afford to be divided at this critical point in time when Nigerians were desperately yearning for change as against the one promised by President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government.
Atiku, who was PDP presidential candidate during the 2019 general elections, noted that an opposition that is looked up to as an alternative could not afford to be fighting itself and lend its hands to the ruling party for its own destruction.
The former vice president, while reacting to the current frictions in the PDP through a statement released to journalists on Thursday by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, also dismissed insinuations that he was fueling the crisis in the party.
He, however, urged the party’s faithful to understand that the price of having a fragmented PDP was too high to pay, “but above all, a betrayal to the memories of the founding fathers of the party”.
Abubakar said that he had been involved in reconciliation efforts within the party across the country and had backed reconciliation processes aimed at diffusing tensions in the party.
He called for calm and for combatants to sheath their swords and give the reconciliation mechanisms of the party a chance. Abubakar noted that the interest of the PDP far superseded that of any individual, insisting that the party would overcome its current travails for as long as all hands were on deck.
“The PDP is greater than our individual ambitions. We have to consolidate the party first before we talk about our ambitions. We have to be careful not to play into the hands of the ruling party.
“We can’t afford a one-party system in Nigeria that denies our people a viable alternative for true change in 2023,” Abubakar said.
The former PDP presidential candidate warned that lack of unity and internal cohesion could help the ruling party more than the PDP.
He added that those who wanted Nigerians to continue with the current situation would also be eager to fuel the crisis in the PDP for their political advantage.
He urged the PDP leaders to put personal differences aside and work for the good of the party, adding that “divided soldiers cannot fight a war and win.”
To ensure that the PDP does not repeat the mistakes of the past, Abubakar said that all contending issues in the party must be resolved through constitutional means.