By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-Former Vice President and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has vowed to work in the interest of the party, regardless of whether he wins or loses the party’s sole Presidential ticket.
The 2019 Presidential hopeful stated this yesterday at the Wadata plaza, national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja. Atiku who was at the party’s headquarters to formally notify the National Working Committee (NWC) of his intention to seek the ticket to contest the Presidential election thanked the party leadership for the smooth conduct of the Ekiti State governorship primary elections, even as he asked for a repeat performance in Osun.
He argued that free and transparent primaries would boost the party’s chances not only in the Presidential election but also in helping the PDP to regain its lost glory.
” Whether I become the presidential candidate or not, I want to assure you that I will always discharge my obligations to this party.
“If we can sustain the kind of primary that we had in Ekiti, there is no doubt that this party will be on its way to regaining the preeminence in power that we were known for,” Atiku stated.
Also speaking, a member of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council and former PDP national chairman, Okwesilieze Nwodo, tasked the party to field the best from the pool of aspirants that have indicated interest to contest the Presidential election in 2019.
He condemned government’s handling of the spates of killings in the land, saying a man like Atiku was what the nation needs to restore hope again.
“Another four years at the point where we are today, this country will cease to exist,” Nwodo said even as he dismissed allegations against Atiku bordering on corruption. According to him, anyone with a shred of evidence against the former Vice President should come forward with same, adding that thus far, no one has approached the anti-corruption agencies in that regard.
“People say he is corrupt but he has challenged us to blow the whistle on him. We are waiting for a whistle to be blown. He has never held a position where he can approve monies,” he added.
On his part, Prince Uche Secondus, national chairman of the PDP reiterated the commitment of his leadership to free and fair elections, pledging that already, the issue of imposition and impunity were now things of the past.
Under his watch, Secondus said the various state chapters of the party now more powers unlike in the past; a development he atrributed to the rebranding effort of the NWC.
The PDP boss also berated the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for what it called its poor handling of the anti-corruption war and management of the nation’s economy.
“The NWC and the National Executive Committee, NEC have vowed to return this party to power in line with the vision of the founding fathers. That is why we rebranded and repositioned to remove every shades of impunity or imposition.
“Our chapters now have more powers devolved to them by the national secretariat and we can assure you of a credible, free and fair primaries. We will do more than we did in Ekiti,” Secondus assured.
Atiku was accompanied to the party’s headquarters by the Director General of his campaign council, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Police Affairs Minister, Ambassador Maina Waziri among others.