From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Walid Jibrin, has tackled former President Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) over recent comments on PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar that he (OBJ) made mistake appointing Atiku as his Vice President in 1999.
Senator Jibrin, a Second Republic lawmaker, said if the former president fails to clarify the statements credited to him on PDP presidential candidate in 48 hours, the party will be left with no option but to expose him (Obasanjo) and tell Nigerians his true colour when he ruled the country for eight years.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, the PDP BoT Chairman said he and the PDP have high regard and respect for the former president, but added that it will be very disappointing if the statement credited to him and carried in virtually all the national dailies is true.
He pointed out that if not for Atiku that kicked against the third term agenda under the Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, the country would have suffered an unimaginable crisis.
Apparently feeling offensive, Senator Jibrin described Obasanjo’s recent comments on Atiku as unfortunate.
According to the elder statesman, in the present circumstance, “I wish to appeal to former President Obasanjo to come out openly to repeat what he has said, whether or not he was misquoted or meant what was credited to him.
“Although he has not debunked what was reported, one can assume that what was quoted to have been said by him is correct, but if he fails to openly come out and say which is correct in 48 hours, you will hear the bombardment and I will have no option but to break the egg and tell the whole world and Nigerians who is Obasanjo.
“There is no doubt Obasanjo may still be angry with Atiku even after helping him to succeed but perhaps for truncating his third term agenda, in any case, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku is our presidential candidate and I can tell you for sure that he will be the president in 2023 Insha Allah.”
On the outcome of the presidential primaries and subsequent picking of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as the running mate of Atiku which may have angered Governor Nyesom Wike, the BoT Chairman disclosed that a high-powered reconciliatory committee is soon to be constituted to meet Governor Wike and appeal to him.
”Governor Wike is a great party man who fought for the party, when the committee is constituted, in which we will also bring other contestants together, we will go and meet with Governor Wike and appeal to him even if it means kneeling down to beg him,” he stressed.
“It is our belief that in any contest, there will always be a winner and a loser and we must take whatever comes our way as the will of God who gives power to whatever he wishes at the time he wishes.
“Atiku is a great man, a man of honour and integrity who will lead Nigeria to greatness, we will bring our head down infact very low and respect every Nigeria as a party and that is why we are calling on party members to be united to ensure that we win the next election. We must unite among ourselves and avoid speaking against ourselves in a manner that portrays the party in a bad light.
“We lose the Ekiti election because there was no unity among party members but we have learnt our lessons, that is why prominent persons have been appointed to handle the Osun election and I can tell you that Senator Ademola Adeleke will be the next governor of Osun State.”
He said “the PDP is kicking very well and we will rule Nigeria again and do better. We will do all within our powers to ensure victory for Atiku and Okowa come 2023 presidential elections.”