To Win 2023 Presidency, PDP Needs A Detribalised Nigerian Like Atiku — Aminu Bala


Hon Aminu Bala is the National Co-ordinator, Atiku Rescue Nigeria, a political support group within the PDP. In this interview with our Correspondent, he explains why former VP Atiku Abubakar is the PDP’s trump card for winning the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria.

Excerpts:

Your group has emerged as a leading support group within the Peoples Democracy Party today. Whay do you believe is the greatest challenge facing the party today?

The PDP was in power in Nigeria from 1999 to 2015 and the period can be described as the glorious years of the Fourth Republic. After about 7 years of the All Progressives Congress, it is obvious Nigerians are eager to return to the old times when the economy was booming and when the nation was more secure and had better indices for social development. To answer your question, the greatest challenge is for PDP is to harness the expectations of the people of this country. The PDP is the only viable alternative with the capacity to remove the lacklustre APC government from the presidential Villa, Abuja.

And among all those jostling for the position, who do you believe has the ability to win the election?

Without any equivocation, I believe Atiku Abubakar can win the presidency for the party. He has the national name recognition across the lenght and breath of Nigeria; he has the experience in the terrain and he has the structure to prosecute the campaign.

Hon. Aminu Bala: Atiku Abubakar can win the presidency for the party.

Many are calling on Atiku to shelve his ambition and support others , why is your group routing for him?

Well, he has contested severally but if I recall the 2019 election was a special case. We know what happened even though the supreme court said we lost, but we know what happened . That one is gone we are now talking about 2023 election. Our candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakr is the most qualified at the moment. We are looking for the person that has experience and capacity to do the job. We know that if the People’s Democratic party (PDP) is interested in wining the 2023 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakr is the only one that will face the ruling party the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Still on the issue of age, a former head of state Ibrahim Babangida was recently quoted as saying that the young ones be given opportunity. What is your view on that?

We are 200 million Nigerians and any person is entitled to his opinion. I believe that age is not a barrier to governance ,even the United States of America that has practiced democracy for years, if you look at governor’s who are less than 40’s go and check their performance, it is not about age , it is about experience and capacity. Nigeria is more divided now than any other time We have different sentiment s. We need a person that is in the terrain . He was a vice president for 8 years and during that time every thing was I corhersion and there was unity. So that is why we are not talking about age , Babaginda has his own opinion, but our own now is to get the person that will do the job.

Don’t you think Atiku’s presidency will breach the rotational presidency arrangements between the North and South which has already led to agitations especially by the South East?.

What I will say about this is that Nigeria as a country you can aspire to be president from any part of the country. It is a constitutional right you cannot deny anybody, but the process lies with the political parties. Of course, some zones have been agitating but the constitution guarantees any individual to contest. In 2014, that was the same thing that happened. Yaradua died while he was president, Jonathan from the south took over and spent 2 years, the Northerners started agitating that the North should complete it’s tenure but there was a superior argument of the constitution, that was how problem started in the PDP and Jonathan contested and won. The most important thing for us is that we have to go beyond who will come from any zone , the priority is that we are in a deep shit we need who can fix the country irrespective of where he comes from .

Aminu Bala: My group will be in the forefront of Atiku campaign

Do you believe in zoning and rotational presidency?

In the time past , I believe that rotation is what is bringing in unity in the party but it is a party affair not a constitutional one. But in the case where the country is moving toward separation like Somalia and Afaghanistan , we have to bring a person that is detribalized and we believe that the person we are supporting is detribalized and he will give people a sense of belonging. In 2019 presidential election , he picked somebody from the South East as his vice . This is an indication that he is a person working for the unity of Nigeria, his outreach is everywhere.

There are insinuations that the North will not vote for Atiku in 2023, is it correct?

This is just a social media jist, we are on ground, go and check the final result of 2019 presidential election; you will see the difference between the People’s Democratic party PDP and All Progressive Congress APC. This is why we say it is not the issue of zoning . If I can recall, in 1999 when Obasanjo was nominated, he did not win his ward and he was massively voted for by the Northerners and he became president for 8 years. It doesn’t matter who voted you , that is why we want to show Nigerians that you can get the highest votes outside your domain. When you look at the records of votes between Buhari and Atiku you can see the difference. Democracy is a game of numbers.

How will an the Atiku candidacy assuage the feelings across the country that the party should zone the presidency?

More than any other aspirant for the position, Attiku is perceived as a unifying figure and that’s what the country needs at this time. His nomination will be satisfactory to all sections of Nigeria.

Do you think Atiku has the magic wand to fix Nigeria?

That is why we keep on emphasising on our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, experience counts. He has been in private and public service. He is the single highest employer of labour in Adamawa state and maybe the North East. He has passion for the development of this country. The issue of unemployment, insecurity , banditry , youth restiveness, he knows the major challenge. He believes in education and has a university . If you look at his attributes, he is equiped to address the problems of this country.

Senator Iyorchia Ayu, PDP National Chairman

What are your strategies to market your candidate to Nigerians for him to win the PDP ticket and the general election?

Our strategy is to build the structure that would go down to the grass roots. We have six zonal coordinators in the six geo political zones and thirty six state coordinators and the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) and all the wards . Our main focus now is on the primary election to see how to convince the delegates to choose our candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakr. We have a lot of plan to push and promote our candidate, so we have a lot of strategy to rescue Nigeria through Atiku.

Do you see Alhaji Atiku bringing his business experience to bear on governance if he wins?

Atiku is an elderly person, he has gathered a lot of experience. He is passionate about the development of this country and contributing his quota . He is passionate about the youth, and I am sure he will be able to come up with a solution that would solve Nigeria problems, because Nigeria is now a laughing stock. I am optimistic that the candidate of Atiku Abubakr will rescue Nigeria from the mess we are now.


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