John Alechenu, Abuja
Amidst growing tension within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has expressed confidence that the party would remain focused and united ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He said this in a series of tweets on his verified twitter handle @Atiku, on Thursday. Atiku explained that his desire to unify the nation would begin from the party noting that he would continue to be not only a listening leader but also one that takes appropriate actions towards achieving set goals.
The former Vice President said in one of the tweets, “@OfficialPDPNIG will remain united. Focus on our actions; we are taking actions to address the feelings of all party members. Unity in our community is my priority.
“Our resolve to unify Nigerians starts in our party and moves to the community then on to society. Every Governor, Legislator, and Other elected officials produced by our party, and party members and loyalists, are much loved and respected by me.”
In another tweet he said, “When they speak, I listen. I do not only listen. Appropriate actions have been taken, are being taken, and will continue to be advanced.”
Recall that senior party members such as Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday, ruffled feathers when the voiced their disappointment at Atiku’s decision to pick Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, instead of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike as running mate.
While Ortom who spoke in an interview with Arise Television, said, he was still praying and waiting for God to direct him as to whether or not to support Atiku in the 2023 elections, Fayose said it was time for a southerner to emerge as President after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure elapses in 2023.
In a related development, party leaders are said to have started consultations in a bid to stop the party from imploding ahead of the 2023 elections.
A leading figure in the party who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues explained that the party could ill afford another major crisis at this point.
The source said, “Disagreements are normal in politics. In fact, political parties exist to resolve crises and harmonize positions for the greater good.
“We in the PDP are facing a challenge like never before, we are in opposition, we have a vicious ruling party in power we can’t afford to leave our flanks open. Another four years in opposition is inconceivable.
“We are in touch with our candidate and work has started. It is not for the media but we are not ignoring our governors although for now they seem not to be on the same page on this issue. In the end, the PDP will come out stronger.”