The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has advised Nigerians campaigning for him to do so “respectfully”.
“For everyone who supports me, I ask you to conduct yourself respectfully, even with people who do not agree with you,” Mr Abubakar said on Twitter on Sunday, using his handle @atiku.
“There will be insults, falsehoods, threats and innuendo. Ignore them and stay focused on the task of rebuilding Nigeria.
“Instead of insults, speak with facts. Let us all work together to get Nigeria working again,” the former vice president said.
Although there are several other political parties for the 2019 general elections, Mr Abubakar is considered the main challenger to the current Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, who is running for a second term in office under the platform of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Many political analysts consider 2019 presidential election to be Mr Abubakar’s best chance, after his failed attempt to get the nomination of both PDP and the APC in the past.
Mr Abubakar received a major boost early this month when he succeeded in mending fences with Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who hitherto had sworn never to support Mr Abubakar’s presidential ambition.
“You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs. You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways,” Mr Obasanjo, whom Mr Abubakar served as vice president between 1999 and 2007, said during the reconciliation meeting with PDP presidential candidate.