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Edo former commissioner warns Atiku against 2023 presidential election

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

A former Commissioner for Information in Edo State, Kassim Afegbua, has described it as immoral for former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to continue to express interest in seeking election in the 2023 presidential election having attained an age that required that he embraces a new status; elder statesman.

Afegbua said that the time has come for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to allow the Southern part of the country to produce the next candidate that would vie for the presidential seat on the platform of the party rather than allowing a candidate from the north particularly Atiku.

He also advised Atiku to quit his quest for the presidency and support a southern Nigerian candidate in the spirit of fairness, equity, and justice that will assuage the feelings of stakeholders from the Southern part of Nigeria.

The former commissioner stated this on Sunday through a statement made available to newsmen across the state and expressed his concerns over the party’s plan to assume the country’s leadership.

‘’Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar cannot assume the role of a perpetual candidate or professional aspirant year in, year out, of the party as though the party was established for him alone. It defeats all sense of logic for such an old man to attempt another round of political contestation at a time the general feeling and mood in the country supports a younger Nigerian from the Southern extraction of the country’’.

‘’ For me, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should quit his quest for the presidency and support a southern Nigerian candidate in the spirit of fairness, equity, and justice, that will assuage the feelings of stakeholders from the Southern part of Nigeria. It will be against the run of play and natural justice for any aspirant of Northern extraction to show interest in the 2023 presidential election within the Peoples’ Democratic Party threshold. It will offend national sentiments, emotions, and logic for anyone from the North to show such interest given our diversities and heterogeneous political configurations. Given PDP’s doctrine of political power balancing and fairness, it will be against its own unwritten rule to cede the ticket to any Northern aspirant least of all Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’’.

In a statement titled ‘’ 2023: Atiku and the age of Methuselah politics’’, the Edo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain said after the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar abandoned all the members of the party and sought refuge in faraway Dubai, thus exposing the PDP members to the intimidations, harassment, and threats posed by the desperate APC’s power oligarchs.

‘’It was a case of a General abandoning his troops on the battlefield. Rather than draw strength from his presence, his absence exposed us to all manner of challenges. He was in Dubai and left us to our fate. When it mattered most for us to reach out to our candidate for motivation and necessary encouragement, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar vanished to thin air. Knowing full well that political activities were to take off, he suddenly resurfaced and became a frontliner in his quest to fly the party’s flag once again. That, to me, amounts to gross political selfishness and greed, which must not be allowed to flourish in our contemporary engagements. Even those who are promoters-in-chief of Alhaji Atiku’s aspiration know in their heart of hearts that it is a project that is dead on arrival’’.

‘’Having concluded the convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, with new leadership that looks promising, the Party will have to rise above board to produce a presidential candidate from the Southern part of the country to complete the narrative. With the abysmal performance of President Muhammadu Buhari on account of age, incompetence, and lack of capacity and political will to take deliberate and sustained action to bail out the country from all manner of challenges, it will be immoral for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to continue to express interest in seeking election in the 2023 presidential election having attained the retirement age.

He urged Atiku and other Northern aspirants to support the aspiration of upwardly mobile and younger elements from the South to fly the PDP flag

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