2015: Atiku threatens to challenge planned award of PDP automatic ticket to Jonathan

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar might mount a legal challenge against his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, should the party goes ahead to award automatic second term tickets to President Goodluck Jonathan and state governors.

In a statement by his media office Saturday, Atiku said he remained opposed to the PDP’s policy of “consensus arrangement” and “adoption” rather than transparent elections to produce candidates for all elective offices, including the presidency.

He was responding to the proposal by the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Tony Anenih, that the party should give automatic tickets to President Jonathan and state governors in 2015.

The former vice president recalled that he was repeatedly in courts to challenge this undemocratic arrangement and that the courts ruled that the policy is alien to the PDP and Nigerian constitutions.

He said the principle for which he opposes this unjust policy, which he described as a “travesty of democracy” has not changed since then.

“My position remains that as far as PDP Constitution is concerned, any attempt to change the party’s rule to favour the President as a sole candidate in the event of his willingness to re-contest is unconstitutional. The contest should be open to all desiring to pursue an ambition on the platform of the PDP,” Atiku said.

While acknowledging that President Jonathan is entitled to seek the party ticket in 2015, the former vice president, however, insisted that Mr. Jonathan should submit himself to a transparent and fair process just like any other party member.

By foreclosing free and fair process of selecting its presidential candidate, Atiku said the PDP might be sending the wrong message to Nigerians about its commitment to conduct free and fair elections for the entire country.

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