EXCLUSIVE: Atiku to declare presidential ambition September 24

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Barring any last minute change of mind, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar will on September 24 formally declare his intention to contest the 2015 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The party will commence the process of picking its presidential flag-bearer through direct modified primaries in October.

The presidential election holds February 14.

PREMIUM TIMES sources said the decision of Mr. Abubakar to signify his intention to seek election to the nation’s highest political office was reached at a meeting by his aides on Monday in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

The details of the meeting are still sketchy because the politician was in Imo Stare on Monday to chair a lecture organised by the Progressives Governors Forum.

Atiku, reputed to have built impressive political structure across the country, served as vice president between 1999 and 2007 in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

When he finally declares his intention, it would be the fourth time the former vice president has shown interest in the nation’s highest office.

He bided for the presidential ticket of the defunct Social Democratic Party [SDP] ahead of the annulled 1993 presidential election. The late multimillionaire businessman cum politician, Moshood Abiola, won that primary and eventually the presidential election.

In 2007, the former vice president was the presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress, AC, but lost to the late president, Umaru Yar’Adua, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

In 2011, Atiku contested the PDP presidential primaries, but was beaten by the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan. He had returned to the PDP in 2009 and was granted waiver to run for the position.

But the former president again resigned from the PDP in February and defected to the APC a few weeks after the leadership of the opposition party led by its then interim National Chairman, Bisi Akande, visited him at his Abuja home asking him to join the opposition party.

In a statement he personally signed at the time, Atiku said he was leaving the PDP because of the “culture of impunity and arbitrariness,” perpetrated by leaders of the PDP.

According to him, as a former Vice President, he was by virtue of the PDP constitution, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees and its National Executive Committee. He, however, complained that he was not invited to the meetings of those organs nor consulted on their decisions, apparently because he dared to exercise his right to contest in the party’s primary election for a chance to be its flag-bearer in the 2011 elections.

He said as a result of his firm stand in defence of the nation’s constitution and democracy, he and his supporters were pushed out of the ruling party he worked tirelessly to build as a vehicle to restore democracy to our country.

He said he concluded that the ruling party could not be redeemed, adding “In short the PDP has abandoned Nigerians, the very people who gave it life and many electoral victories.”

Atiku added, “We continue to have threats from officially protected political extremists. Increasingly our people are recklessly being divided along the lines of religion, ethnicity and region for political gains,” he said.

“The process of building a nation, of securing and deepening democracy is indeed difficult. And it is not a lineal process.”

“There would be alignment and realignment of political forces. There would be ups and downs and zig-zags, triumphs and challenges. Amidst all that, patriots must remain focused and do what has to be done to save and build the country and serve our people better.

Atiku said following extensive consultative process, he decided to pitch tent with the APC because of what it stands for.

“I have, therefore, decided to cast my lot with the APC, a party of change committed to the improvement of the lives of our people and to the continued existence and development of Nigeria as one indivisible country,” he said.

However, the former vice president may not have a smooth sail in actualizing his ambition of picking the presidential ticket of the Nigeria’s main opposition party.

There are indications that a former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano State and a former governor of Kwara State and now senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District, Bukola Saraki, are angling for the presidential ticket of the APC.

Others, who may seek for the party’s ticket, are Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and the publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, who hails from Niger State.

There are indications that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who though is a member of the PDP, will defect to the APC soon where he will also seek the APC presidential ticket.

The trio of Messrs Buhari, Kwankwaso and Nda-Isaiah, like Atiku, hail from the northern part of the country, to which the APC might zone the presidential position to.

While the former vice president hails from Adamawa State in the North East, Messrs. Buhari and Kwankwaso are from the North West zone.

The position of the national chairman is held by John Odigie-Oyegun from Edo State in the South-South zone, a clear pointer that the presidential candidate will come from the North.

Should Mr. Buhari decide to contest the presidential position he would be doing so for the third time. He was twice, in 2003 and 2007, the presidential candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and that of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change, CPC, in 2011.

Of the lot, the former military head of state is the oldest. He is 72 while Mr. Abubakar is 68 and Mr. Kwankwaso 58. Messrs. Saraki, Nda-Isaiah and Okorocha are 52 years old.


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  • redeem

    We Will Ensure That Nigeria Will Not Survive If Jonathan Wins In 2015″. – APC Chairman. The war mongers have started again–this time from the Obas Palace in d SS on behalf of the fulani North-Yes Atiku is fulani–dasuki–fulani– buhari –fulani–el rufai fulani-kwankaso fulani–lamido fulani—gusau fulani———————-so APC can afford to make Nigeria ungovernable again for Jonathan-with another boko haram outfit from the fulani north–abi–via the window of kanuris again?

    Hear Oyegun–from Edo state again————“APC would make sure Nigeria doesn’t survive another four years should PDP/President Goodluck Jonathan win next year Presidential election in Nigeria – Chief John Oyegun. APC Chairman speaking in Owerri at the 3rd APC progressive governance series–Soon the story will be that Ihejirika swore to make 9ja ungovernable again via boko haram———————–APC is as confused as the name confusion—–empty to a fault-want to use my stolen oil wealth to fight Jonathan abi-animals

    • Mr. Abdin

      It seems you are not always comfortable with the name of any Northerner you have to also note that if Nigeria had continue with the policies being engineered by Atiku Abubakar as a Vice President we won’t be in this mess of clueless administration.

      • the truth

        Mr abdin y can’t u address what redeem posted.apc making comments of distabilizing the country.but I don’t blame u,u have been blinded by your hate of Jonathan u would not see any thing good in him unless he personally hands over 10 million dollars to you.I dare you to mention any past Nigerian leader that has achieved this much on such a short time and I would provide u Jonathana stewardship.the same atiku that stole from Nigerians for personal gain.u must be drinking custard with Hennessey.

        • Mr. Abdin

          For mentioning hennessy you haves shown who you are a drunkard? You have to note that Atiku is a household name and the worst thing that has happened to this country is having your mentor as a President mind you no reasonable country will be happy to have your mentor as President who cannot differentiate between stealing and corruption may God save us from the hands of the incompetent.

        • Muhammed Bello

          the truth, I know that Atiku hasnt achieved anything and I personally believe that he is not the solution to Nigeria’s problem. But please tell me the achievements of the administration of Jonathan that benefit the country.

          • the truth

            Sir I have replied twice to you but premium times blocked it.u can see that any view against apc or premium times is not published.I never used derogatory words.if I praise apc it would be published.they filter any post that tells u any post made here is what premium times want posted.u can’t seal our thoughts pt

    • sir Oscie

      You are just running from pillar to post. Give us facts not all this road side gossip.

    • Muhammad Dima Ali

      you funny oh!

  • Wähala

    Atiku ati Buhari are not the change we need…

    • Nuorah

      Wahala means trouble that is your name by the grace of God APC would lead this Country to the promise land Buhari as the Father of the party and Atiku as a President of Federal republic of Nigeria on 29-May 2015.

      • Pls wake up from dis foolishness.

    • Don Messi

      Bros, na true talk be dat.
      But that ticket will go to Buhari or Kwankwaso or Atiku. .
      Those who call the shots in APC like in PDP will never hand d ticket to any decent person.
      And therein lies my problem ; WHERE Is the ‘change’??

  • Ovie Obaro E

    These jobless politicians had better bury their heads in shame. The mention of their names becomes pathologically nauseating by the day…It is sad, that after 53yrs, Nigeria still finds itself in a situation where elements like Atiku with highly questionable source of wealth become Presidential candidates…all possible bcos we are not a country but a continent where sentiments arising from ethnic/regional affiliations are stronger than anything else. Otherwise, how can a former civil servant Customs officer retire as a billionaire. This absurdity is maniacally bewildering.

    Yes! When these politicians have cornered the monies, they set up Universities which they are less Patriotic to Name after a foreign nation rather than their own ‘beloved’ country. Even in the 60s ZIK refused UNN to be named after him but insisted on a truly nationalistic nomenclature – The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). But about 4 decades after, the new breed of politicians would name their University an “American University, “. What a senseless mentality. Where has commonsense and patriotism gone? This is what Fela would call – ‘Them put the country for reverse’ !

    But that is not all, after these ex-VPS & ex Presidents leave power, the Universities they set up are effectively placed beyond the reach of the poor (via high tuition) from whom they stole. Worse still, the ‘regular’ Universities are further depleted of their best Faculty bcos they are attracted to these private Universities by higher Salaries. So, the children of the ‘ordinary’ Nigerian is robbed of the best Lectures…

    It this how we will continue? Why can’t Nigeria disintegrate so real countries will evolve? Just look at all the aspirants and intending aspirants, they are all disappointing misfits. Pure & Simple. Nigerians are too intelligent to accommodate these unpatriotic scallywags who love their pockets more. This guys should be effectively quarantined as though they were Ebola laden. But of course they are worse. Someday, Farouk De Dollar will contest election…and he will win. Nonsense!

    Time to do something is now. Time to discuss secession referendum is NOW. There can be no more exigent time than NOW…Those nations in Nigeria that want to leave should be allowed to go. Remember, there are more people in Rivers & Delta respectively than Norway. The smaller, the better.

    • Obierika Johnson

      True word. Good analysis. Every idiots wants to become President. We should first ask: Do we as Nigerians have a common objective? aspirations? etc? Of course the answer is no. We need to evaluate our position as one country. This is where all the problems are coming from. Tell me, who in the West, South or East will vote for Atiku? Even in his North, there are scores of men who are far intelligent with little ot no history of dubious ill gotten wealth. Except Nigeria breaks up, we might never have real leaders. The corrupt will always be propping up.

      • Muhammed Bello

        First I agree with what Ovie said, and I am glad you concurred with him too, but do you truey believe that disintegration will be Nigeria’s solution? if we break up is it different people that will rule the country, or our mentality as people will suddenly change because we are no more called Nigeria?

    • Akanbi

      Bro, I agree with you on this one. I can imagine that Obama upon retirement, will build a University in his Honolulu Hawai and then name it ‘The Nigerian University of America’. It it be madness of highest proportion and I am sure the Nobel committee will immediately withdraw the Nobel price awarded some yrs ago.

  • Atiku are u having a laugh?

  • Mr. Abdin

    Atiku has always being hoping to govern this country in order fix it right hoping that he will emerge as the flag bearer of the party so that he can move the country forward.

    • the truth

      He would govern your boko haram republic not Nigeria.he has lost thrice now.once a looser always a looser.Jonathan until 2019.if your house leadership is vacant atiku can lead your household

      • Mr. Abdin

        HE HAS LED BY EXAMPLE AND IS MORE COMPETENT THAN YOUR GORILLA ETHNO-NATIONLIST WHO SEES HIS NON- TRIBE AND RELIGION AS HIS ENEMY HOPE THAT WE WON’T HAVE YOUR TYPE AS FUTURE PRESIDENT OF THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE YOU ARE COMPLETELY CLUELESS.

  • Psalm 35

    Can Atiku be serious or is he up to something else ?

  • djay

    Ride on sir, its your right. It’s God that give power and not man just as Gej.some people will say you have contested 3 times and failed so what are you looking for, to these people they give up their quest to accomplish what they set out for themselves believing since they failed once or more they can’t continue and they give up so easily and try to discourage those that have the resilient to keep trying. As long as you are contesting sir, you also stand a chance. Good luck.

  • Outraged

    Chai Jonathan is heading back to Otuoke

    • john micheals

      wake up !!!

  • sir Oscie

    A welcome development, Cant wait to see a real leader of his status become our president. All the best Atiku Abubakar the people’s needs you.

    • sharp shape

      Hmmmmh !

      • sir Oscie

        Hmmmmmm

  • john micheals

    Atiku will not even win the primaries against Buhari or Rabiu. He is joking.

    • sir Oscie

      I dey laugh

  • usama bugaje

    We seem to forget far to easily past “scandals” . Pdf funds!! If he can win then we the masses will be responsible for what shall come, and believe me it shall come

  • oriwu properties

    i prefer buhari to atiku

  • arise_9ja

    Atiku will fight corruption hahahahaha APC hypocrisy stinks to the high heavens.

  • Muhammad Dima Ali

    Tinubu has just revealed, the likes of Ikimi, Atiku etc with dubious pasts are specially handled with great care. Such people are always after their personal interest and not for the nation at large. They never join party to observe modesty and remain calm. He is not needed anymore in the country.

  • Gbo_lee

    I must say that with his benevolents acts recently,Atiku has been winning my heart. He remains one of our best men,every man has made some mistakes in the past.He will be a very credible candidate,just as the other APC candidates. Goodluck Ebola Jonathan can kiss Aso Rock goodbye

    • sharp shape

      Wow !

  • Otitoju

    When will this generation learn to address issues and be objective rather than subjective? Nigeria needs a leader with vision; a proactive and selfless one. And we can only get that when we get our electoral process right, when our votes begin to count from the party to the public. This I think we can achieve if our generation begins to think about values and dignity. May God intervene.