‘You’ve reached retirement age’ – Afegbua asks Atiku not to contest in 2023
Ex-spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation during 2019 elections, Kassim Afegbua has called on the former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar not to contest the presidency in 2023.
According to Afegbua, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must zone its 2023 presidential candidacy to the south, and as such, Atiku should “ditch his quest”.
This was contained in a statement released on Sunday by the former spokesperson.
Afegbua said Atiku should not make himself a “perpetual candidate” for the presidency.
Atiku has unsuccessfully contested the presidency five times in the last three decades.
Afegbua said it is immoral for “such an old man to attempt another round of political contestation”.
He said the presidency belongs to the south, adding that the idea of an Atiku candidacy is akin to “promoting an expired product”.
“Having concluded the convention of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, with a new leadership that looks promising, the party will have to rise above board to produce a presidential candidate from the southern part of the country to complete the narrative,” the statement reads in part.
“With the abysmal performance of President Muhammadu Buhari on account of age, incompetence and lack of capacity and political will to take deliberate and sustained action to bail out the country from all manner of challenges, it will be immoral for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to continue to express interest in seeking election in the 2023 presidential election having attained the retirement age.
“He cannot assume the role of a perpetual candidate or professional aspirant year in, year out, of the party as though the party was established for him alone. It defeats all sense of logic for such an old man to attempt another round of political contestation at a time the general feeling and mood in the country supports a younger Nigerian from the southern extraction of the country.
“For me, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should quit his quest for presidency and support a southern Nigerian candidate in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice, that will assuage the feelings of stakeholders from the southern part of Nigeria. It will be against the run of play and natural justice for any aspirant of Northern extraction to show interest in the 2023 presidential election within the Peoples’ Democratic Party threshold. It will offend national sentiments, emotions and logic for anyone from the North to show such interest given our diversities and hetereogenous political configurations.
“After the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar abandoned all of us in Nigeria and sought refuge in far away Dubai, thus exposing us to the intimidations, harassment and threats posed by the desperate APC’s power oligarchs. It was a case of a general abandoning his troops in the battlefield. Rather than draw strength from his presence, his absence exposed us to all manner of challenges.”
Afegbua said the promoters of Atiku’s aspiration “know in their heart of hearts that it is a project that is dead on arrival”.