The Technical Committee for the Actualisation of Atiku Abubakar’s Presidency says the former vice-president was not part of the arrangement to produce a consensus presidential candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Over the past months, four presidential hopefuls — Bukola Saraki, former senate president; Bala Mohammed, Bauchi governor; Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto governor; and Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, former managing director of the now-defunct FSB International Bank – held consultations across the country on consensus candidature.
Saraki and Mohammed were announced as “northern consensus candidates” following a report released by Ango Abdullahi, elder statesman, on Friday.
But Tambuwal rejected the outcome of the exercise.
In a statement on Saturday, Raymond Dokpesi, on behalf of the technical committee, said there is a need to officially distance Atiku from the exercise because they have “been inundated with several calls and text messages from concerned party members”.
“It must be stated categorically and equivocally that Waziri Atiku Abubakar MA, GCON Vice President Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999-2007 was NEVER a part of this purported consensus arrangement, neither did he at any time nor in any place, subject himself to any purported consensus process,” Dokpesi said.
“Therefore, Waziri Atiku Abubakar is NOT BOUND by any of the recommendations and conclusions of the purported report.
“As an avowed nationalist, Waziri Atiku Abubakar strongly believes that Nigeria has never been as divided as it is today. He strongly believes that any ‘consensus’ arrangement premised on any regional, zonal, ethno-religious, and/or sectional gang-up will further deepen and widen this divide, and worsen the wounds that urgently need to be healed.
“Consequently, Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is anxious to implement plans, policies and programmes that will rescue and rebuild Nigeria. This is his unwavering and resolute pledge and commitment.”