Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has narrated how he rejected state governors’ call to scuttle the second term bid of former President Olusegun Obasanjo by running against him for president in 2003.

If Atiku had heard, he would have run against his former boss. He said that rather than accede to the call, he referred them to to the resolution of the National Executive Council  (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where it was decided that power should remain in the southwest for eight years.

The politician, however, caused when he declared that Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election, was killed after he won the election.

Atiku also noted that while the PDP reserves the right to regulate itself, the ultimate decision about who should govern remains that of Nigerians.

He made this remark at the 94th PDP NEC meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

“The Peoples Democratic Party has the right to determine its rules on how the party should be governed. The people of Nigeria also have the right to determine who governs them.

“Where the president comes from has never been the problem of Nigeria. There is no such thing as a president from southern Nigeria or a president from northern Nigeria.

“There is only one president from Nigeria, for Nigeria, by Nigerians.”

Speaking about inclusion, Atiku calls for a new national working committee with a sizable number of youths and women.

“The decision of NEC today will either see PDP into the villa in 2023 or not. Since its inception, this party has faced serious challenges and have risen above sentiments to solve those challenges and moved forward. “

Going down memory lane, Atiku said: “Those of us who served in the constitutional conference, which drafted the current constitution of Nigeria, sure remember that after we finished the draft of that constitution, we all met as members of the constitutional conference and resolved to correct the injustice that was done to a particular part of this country.

“And we said in whichever party you found yourself, your presidential candidate must come from the southwest because Abiola had won the election, not only did he win, he was killed.

“So, we all agreed as members, and we went out of the constitutional conference, and we formed our parties, those of us formed PDP others formed ANPP, those who formes AD formed AD.

“At the end of the day, there were two alliances in two parties. PDP brought General Obasanjo, ANPP brought Olu Falae. This is to show you that Nigerians have a sense of fairness.“

He then turned to Professor Jerry Ghana, who was sitting to his right and asked, “is that not what happened in 2003? To which Gana answered “more or less.”

“All the PDP governors and some members of the party met me at the Villa and said that they were not going to support [then]President Olusegun Obasanjo for a second term, that I should run.

“I now referred them to the resolution of NEC where NEC had decided that power should remain in the southwest for eight years.

“How do you want me to go against the resolution of NEC and I turned it down, and we moved on. So, this country has a sense of fairness. This country has a sense of justice, this country has a sense of fairness.

“Therefore, this thing that is in-built in our party, we should be able to use it, to embed it, to make sure today’s deliberation is in the best interest of our party, in the best interest of Nigeria, which will ultimately give us the victory that we asked for — to go back to the Villa.”

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