Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said that he is not sure but he assumes that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is in support of his presidential ambition.
Atiku, who made the assertion during an exclusive interview with Arise TV on Friday morning, which was monitored by SaharaReporters, said he has been talking with his former boss but has not visited him after his emergence as the PDP presidential candidate.
The PDP presidential candidate who was asked if he needs Obasanjo’s support said, “Why will I not need his support? He was my former boss. Why will I not need his support? Of course I will need his support. I assume I have it.”
Atiku said that he still holds the former president’s legacy in high esteem.
On the other hand, Atiku while speaking on the issue of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said he is already reaching out to the governor and that stakeholders of PDP will soon reconcile with the aggrieved Wike.
“We are reaching out to Governor Wike and we are talking with him and I believe very soon we will find a reconciliation. In fact, very soon, because we are talking to him.
“We are talking to his governor colleagues. I am very optimistic we are going to resolve our internal crisis and move on,” Atiku said.
He said that Governor Wike is an influential politician who has a good future in Nigerian politics and has contributed much to the growth of the party, adding that he (Atiku) did not reject Wike as a running mate.
He said, “Governor Wike was not rejected, nobody was rejected in the party but the point is you must understand, it is the prerogative of the candidate to pick his running mate, the running mate he believes he can work with amicably and then also deliver the policies of the party and also try to unify the country.
“Governor Wike is a brilliant politician, he’s courageous and tenacious. I believe he has a future in the political evolution of this country, so it is not a question of rejection, certainly not. I think it’s too harsh a word to say that we rejected Governor Wike, certainly not.”
Atiku, who noted that people seem not to be fair to him said, “The committee that was set up at my own instance deliberated. There was no vote, and they recommended three names, because they knew it was my prerogative to pick anyone of the three. So, there was actually no vote. It’s not true.
“Governor Ortom himself chaired that committee. He knew there was no vote taken, and I have the report of that committee. The committee recommended three people and I picked one. I did not go out of that recommendation. So, I think people should be fair to me and should also state the fact.”
There have been grievances which generated internal crisis in the party after Atiku picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate.
Commenting on the personality of Governor Okowa and whether he would have still have picked former Governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, he had not left the PDP, Atiku described Okowa as an intelligent man with wide experience, “From being a vice chairman to a commissioner, then to senator and now a governor.”
On Peter Obi, Atiku said, “Well, he did not even consult me before joining the Labour Party. I think it was three days after he announced his joining of the Labour Party that he informed me.”
Saharareporters, New York