Abuja, Nigeria – The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubabar, has declared that reconciliation between him and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and other aggrieved governors elected on the platform of the opposition party is not feasible.
During an interview recently on the internal crisis rocking the PDP, Atiku said he was yet to come to terms with the aggrieved party chieftains and that they have since moved on.
“We have left that issue aside. It is now history as we have moved on,” Atiku told the interviewer.
From all indication, the former Vice President has moved on without Governor Nyesom Wike and his PDP Chieftains (Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo; Samuel Ortom of Benue; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu; Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia), having failed to reconcile his relationship with them ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The party chieftains had fallout with Atiku after the presidential candidate became adamant about their demands, including having PDP’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, replaced with a Southerner ahead of the 2023 elections.
In his interview with VOA, Atiku maintained that he doesn’t support the removal of Ayu, insisting it was unwise to take such a decision as the elections are approaching.
“It is not proper, at this time, to contemplate a change of leadership of our party, whereas we are approaching the elections season,” Atiku said while expressing confidence that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would be presiding over free and fair elections in February next year.
“This is because we have seen how they conducted two elections in Ekiti and Osun. In both cases, we have praised them for good outings. In addition to this, President Buhari has assured us that he would allow transparent, free and fair elections to be conducted in 2023,” he said.
Continuing, he said, “my administration would not be run by cabals,” referring to the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku said his administration, if elected as the next president of Nigeria, would not be overtaken by cabals.
According to him, if elected in the forthcoming presidential election as the next president of Nigeria, his government will not be manipulated by any group of persons intent on controlling the affairs of the state.
Recall that wife of the incumbent president, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, had openly informed Nigerians that a cabal was controlling state affairs in Aso Rock, an allegation the president debunked in several interviews.
However, Atiku vowed not to allow any cabal to dictate the tune in the corridor of power of his administration if elected.
“You won’t find any cabal in my government. It is me Atiku that will run the administration,” Atiku said.
Atiku also disclosed in the interview that he is visiting America to hold discussions with government officials on the issues of insecurity, economic drawbacks, and the 2023 elections confronting the country.
“We would confront this issue by convoking a constitutional review so that states and local governments, to whom we intend to give the imprimatur to run their security affairs, would be able to do so. But this requires a rejig of the constitution.
“Before we embark on this, we intend to employ more boots on the ground, especially in the area of policing and civil defence, all of which we want to equip properly,” Atiku reportedly said.
The former vice president stated that his administration would work closely with the judiciary to ensure the speedy trial of offenders, pointing out that he would support the imposition of the death penalty for terrorism-related crimes.