By Kemi Yesufu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for the 2019 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has announced Wednesday for his official declaration day for the presidential race for 2023.
The announcement was made in a statement issued by his media office on Sunday.
The statement read in part: “After several months of consultations with stakeholders across the country and in the diaspora, as well as all organs of the Peoples Democratic Party, Nigeria’s former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, will officially declare his intent to run for the 2023 presidential election on Wednesday, 23 March, 2022.
“The event which will have in attendance Atiku Abubakar’s friends, associates, political leaders, party faithful and supporters will take place at the International Conference Center, Abuja at 11 am.
“His official declaration kick starts the former Vice President’s participation in the race for the presidential ticket of the PDP ahead of the next year’s general election”.
It may be recalled that last week, Atiku picked the nomination and expression of interest forms of the PDP, which were donated to him by the North East Business Community, urging him to run for president in the 2023 election.
Meanwhile, immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; and his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, on Sunday met in Bauchi to endorse one northern candidate ahead of the party’s presidential primary in nine weeks’ time.
This is as Saraki said they will also be meeting former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on the matter even though he has already obtained the N40m presidential form and declared his intention to contest.
After the meeting at the Ramat House, Bauchi, which lasted about two and a half hours, the former Senate President spoke to journalists on the outcome of the trio’s deliberations.
He said the three of them that had shown interest in contesting the Presidency in 2023 under the PDP from the North had resolved to pick a consensus aspirant among them.
He said: “We came here and had a meeting for about two hours; all the three of us that have shown interest in leading this country, our concern is for the hardship our people are going through, the high cost of living and also looking ahead towards 2023.
“In doing so, we met and discussed that with 2023 ahead of us and in trying to rescue this country, the unity, stability and growth of the country are more important than individual ambitions. We believe that if the three of us are working together honestly, committed and with a lot of zeal for this country, there will be great hope for this country going forward.
“We appreciate that the three of us have shown aspirations to lead this country and what we have come to realise is that we are all competent and capable of leading this country, but at the end of the day, it is only one person that will lead this country in 2023. We have also resolved that we will work closely together to ensure that we will come out with a consensus candidate among the three of us.”
When asked if their consensus would include Atiku, Saraki said, “We cannot speak on behalf of anybody who is not here, but we have agreed to go and share our thoughts with our elder brother, the Waziri, to let him know, and I am sure and we are hopeful that when we speak with him and share our thoughts, then we will be able to comment on that area.
“Lastly, there are some of us who have shown interest, which is well known, it so happens that those of us who have shown interest are from the North. If other candidates later join, we are ready to sit down with them, but there is only one aspirant from the South, so there is no concern here.”