Posted by By Rotimi Ajayi & Emmanuel Aziken on
VICE President Atiku Abubakar declared, yesterday, that the death of the third term proposal had reduced the capacity of President Olusegun Obasanjo to stop his (Atiku’s) presidential ambition.
ABUJA— VICE President Atiku Abubakar declared, yesterday, that the death of the third term proposal had reduced the capacity of President Olusegun Obasanjo to stop his (Atiku’s) presidential ambition.
Speaking to newsmen at the opening of the media office of his presidential campaign in Abuja, Vice-President Abubakar said he no longer felt much a member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He said the sincerity of the on-going reconciliation of party members following the defeat of the party’s position on the Constitution amendment needed to go further by reconciling with its aggrieved members.
As the ceremony got under way, security was unusually beefed up at the National Secretariat of the PDP apparently to check a possible attack.
The opening of the Atiku campaign media office located on the outskirts of the Abuja centre was attended by several political associates of the Vice-President most of whom are already in the opposition Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD).
Among those present were former ministers in the present administration now chieftains of the ACD including Chief Dapo Sarumi; Chief Yomi Edu; Ms Funke Adedoyin; former PDP chieftain, Alhaji Lawal Kaita. Dr. Iyorcha Ayu, himself a former minister in the present administration who is the director-general of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign was also present.
Asked if he felt threatened that the President could use his incumbency power to suppress his presidential quest, Abubakar said: “I don’t feel threatened, I feel challenged. In Africa, many incumbents have lost elections. Just nearby in Benin Republic, an incumbent lost election. Jerry Rawlings, he was an incumbent, lost election. Arap Moi lost election, he was an incumbent. It is Nigerians who can elect or un-elect. Yes incumbency has some relevance but we have an incumbent President but he lost the third term bid. What are you talking about?”
Also asked if he still felt he was a member of the PDP, he said: “Not very much so. I have got to be honest with you.”
The Vice-President, however, affirmed that his capacity to succeed his boss would be determined by the electorate. “The main power brokers are Nigerians, people who vote, you have got to reach them, you have got to talk to them, you have to convince them. They are the main power brokers.
“Over the last two decades, I have been opportuned to belong to different political parties, and over the years, I have made political associates, political friends and supporters and leaders and political scholars and I think I enjoy the confidence and support of people across political parties.”
Security beefed at PDP Secretariat
Security was unusually beefed up at the National Secretariat of the PDP apparently to check a possible attack. As early as 9.00a.m, a detachment of anti-riot policemen had taken positions round the three-storey building located in the commercial area of Abuja. A bomb disposal vehicle was also strategically packed by the gate of the building.
The unusual presence of the policemen caused a stir among workers at the secretariat who for hours gathered in groups to discuss possible reasons for the incidence.
National Publicity Secretary, Mr John Odey, said the development could only be explained by the police.
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