PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL : February 16th, 2022
PDP 2023, CLASH OF THE GODFATHERS : ATIKU, NOT FIT SHOULD BE GRATEFUL TO IGBOS – EDWIN CLARK
Chief Edwin Clark, a leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the South South region of Nigeria have join other key members of his party to castigate the former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubarka who is currently nursing his 2023 presidential ambition and seems to be gaining the support of with the delegates of the party.
A visibly disappointed Clark reiterated angrily that Atiku should be grateful to the Igbos of the SouthEastern Nigeria for always identifying him and voting overwhelmingly for him in the past.
“Atiku is ungrateful, must he contest everytime? Igbos have always supported him overwhelmingly in the past – why can’t he support an Igbo presidential aspirant”.
Clark comments were made Wednesday in a live recorded interview by Arise TV and monitored by Push News 24 International.
The former Senator who also played an active role during GEJ government says he supports rotational presidency from North to South and would continue to fight for others.
75 years old Clark further asked the South West gladiators to rally-round the South East in 2023.
According to Clark, though the concept of zoning is not written in the constitution, “rotation of power” is in the interest of the country’s unity.
“Firstly, I wish to use this medium to advise my most respected Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains in the persons of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.”
Former Nigerian Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has had one ultimate goal for the last 28 years: to be the country’s president. But with a pro-Buhari group trying to cast out his candidacy on citizenship grounds, and an attempt to tie him to the collapse of Bank PHB, there are legal fights ahead for Atiku.
Atiku, a retired customs officer, first contested the presidency in 1993 when the military junta of General Ibrahim Babangida organised the presidential election. Atiku finished third at the primaries of the Social Democratic Party, losing to the eventual winner, MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe. But the 46-year-old retired customs officer gained the respect of many when he endorsed MKO and soon stamped his presence in Nigeria’s political scene.
In 1999, he contested as President Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate; but by 2002, he was already engaged in a feud with his principal, based on rumours that he wanted to succeed him. The feud ended temporarily in 2003 when they both contested for re-election and won. But by 2005, it had become obvious that their relationship had become unsalvageable, amid rumours that Obasanjo wanted to amend the constitution and seek a third term in office.
Atiku would eventually defect from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to the Action Congress, after Obasanjo refused to support his presidential ambition.
This was the first time in Nigeria’s history that a serving vice-president would defect from a ruling party. Obasanjo sacked him but the court annulled this decision. However, Nigeria’s electoral commission disqualified him from running for president based on allegations of fraud. He was eventually cleared by the court and in 2007, allowed to contest, but lost to Umaru Yar’Adua.
Shows no signs of backing down
In 2010, he returned to the PDP to contest in the presidential primaries but was bested by President Goodluck Jonathan who had succeeded Yar’Adua months earlier.
In 2014, Atiku joined the newly registered mega party, All Progressives Congress, and contested in the primaries but was defeated by General Muhammadu Buhari and then Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso. Not daunted, Atiku again returned to the PDP in 2018 where he won the presidential primary.
Should Atiku win even at the supreme court, the federal government still has some cards up its sleeve.
In 2019, he contested in the presidential election where he garnered 11.2 million votes and won 17 states, including the nation’s capital, Abuja. However, this proved not to be enough as Buhari polled 15.1 million votes, a victory margin of 3.9 million.