By Henry Umoru, Assistant Political Editor
AHEAD of 2015 Presidential election, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has concluded plans to formally declare to run for the presidency, the most exalted office in the country, Wednesday, September 24 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by his Media Adviser, Mallam Garba Shehu, former Minister of Aviation, Professor Babalola Borisade would head the campaign team.
According to Shehu, the former Vice President settled for Borisade because he is seen as a popular political strategist who worked for the victory of late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua as well as the late Chief M. K. O. Abiola on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP.
He recalled further that Borisade was also involved in the victory of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 and 2003 election.
The statement read, “The former Vice President, His Excellency Vice President Atiku Abubakar GCON, the Turaki Adamawa will contest for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, in the 2015 presidential elections.
“The former Vice President will be making the declaration on Wednesday September 24.
“The campaign will be anchored by a veteran of successful presidential contests and a former Minister, Professor Babalola Borisade.
“Borisade is also a well-known political strategist who worked for the victory of the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and thereafter, late Chief M. K. O. Abiola on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP. Borisade also worked as the strategist for President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 and 2003 elections, both of which were won resoundingly.
“This is not about me, it is about our young people. It is about Nigerians. It is their future, not the past. It is about reforming government, securing the people and reconciling the nation, Atiku said.
Shehu continued, “Turaki is of the view that 2015 is special and a potential turning point in Nigeria’s history – that we need to seize the moment, to give every Nigerian a chance to help re-define Nigeria as a place for them and their children to prosper and feel safe. He says a change is needed now, and he is ready to lead that change.”
Atiku Abubakar in 1998 won the December Adamawa State gubernatorial election, but before he could be sworn in, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP made him the Vice Presidential candidate to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He served as Vice President from 1999 to 2007 and in December 20, 2006, he was chosen as the Presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress, AC, but in March 14, 2007, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on the grounds that he was on the list of persons indicted for corruption by a panel set up by the government, was not allowed as his name got missing from the ballot . Atiku Abubakar then headed to the courts on March 16 and the Supreme Court ruled that INEC had no such powers to disqualify him.
In 2007, Atiku returned to the PDP and in October 2010, he announced his intention to contest for the presidency, just as in November same year, a Committee of Northern Elders led by former Minister of Finance, Alhaji Adamu Ciroma selected him as the Northern Consensus candidate over former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; the present National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Gusau and former Kwara State governor, now Senator representing Kwara Central, Senator Bukola Saraki.
In January, 2011, Atiku Abubakar contested for the presidential ticket of the PDP along side President Goodluck Jonathan and the present Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Mrs Sarah Jubril. Atiku was defeated having garnered 805 votes, President Jonathan got 2736 votes while Mrs Jubril got only a vote.
Atiku Abubakar in his political sojourn again dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress, APC February 2, 2014.
Many analysts are of the view that that the APC primary to select its flag bearer for the 2015 election will end in turmoil as all political gladiators in the party seem to be warming up for the same position.