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PDP’s stability critical to 2023 victory, says Atiku

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

• Group disowns branded items, says ex VP yet to declare intention
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said stability in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is critical to its electoral victory in 2023.

Atiku, who was on a reconciliation tour, spoke at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, after a meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike.

A statement signed by Special Assistant to the Governor, Mr. Kelvin Ebiri, quoted Atiku as saying: “I came here to reconcile with the governor on party affairs and how we can ensure that there is unity and stability in the party so that we can take over government in 2023. I believe that Nigerians can’t wait for 2023 to come so that PDP will return. Nigerians are waiting eagerly for the PDP to take over power at the federal level in 2023.”

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Speaking on the current insecurity in the country, he urged Nigerians to wait for when the PDP would unveil its policies on how to address the problem.

“I have never seen it (insecurity) this bad. I am 70 years plus, I have never seen it this bad in terms of security challenges, in terms of economy, in terms of unemployment. This is the worst. Why can’t you give us time? We will come up with our policies. We will present them to Nigerians when the time comes.

“We have done that before. Under PDP, we recorded the highest economic growth and the best foreign reserves. We reduced unemployment. You know that we can do it,” he said.

Atiku also praised Wike’s leadership, saying: “I think he (Wike) is the topmost governor we have in the party. There is no doubt about that in terms of projects, youth, employment and security.”

A group, Atiku Kawai Media Group, meanwhile, has said it was not responsible for the recent distribution of loaves of bread branded ‘Atiku Kawai’ (Atiku Only) to Kano State residents.

Mixed reactions had trailed the distribution of the loaves, which pictures surfaced on social media.

In a statement, yesterday, the founder of Atiku Kawai Media Group, AbdulRasheed Sheu, said the group did not authorise anyone to brand, bake or share any gift in the name of the former vice president.

Sheu said the organisation could not have distributed any gift, given the fact that Atiku has not declared his intention to run for any political position following his outing in 2019.

“More so, he is currently touring PDP states to reconcile members of his party in preparation for a ‘ComeBack’ in 2023,” he said.

He added: “While we see this as a well-intentioned gesture from a fan and loyalist of the former vice president, the baker, Aminu Yusuf, has been contacted and appropriate details communicated.

“We, hereby, refute the false assumption in some quarters, which is deliberate, all in the name of politics, to attack the person of Atiku Abubakar and the Atiku Kawai Media Group.”

This came as a former representative of Rivers South East senatorial district, Magnus Abe, appealed to Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, and All Progressives Congress (APC) faithful to thread cautiously, saying there is nothing in the Supreme Court judgment in Jegede vs Akeredolu that implies that a governor cannot serve as chairman of any committee in a political party of which he is a member.

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Abe, in a statement he personally signed and posted on his Facebook account titled, ‘No Keyamo: Self Immolation Is Not The Option For APC’, said: “I was taken aback when my attention was drawn to a statement making the rounds on social media credited to my learned friend, Festus Keyamo SAN, demanding that our party must immediately halt all preparations for the forthcoming congresses and disband the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).

“Keyamo’s argument is premised on his interpretation of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Jegede vs Akeredolu.

“We must be steadfast and stay the course. There is nothing in the Supreme Court judgment in Jegede vs Akeredolu that implies that a governor cannot serve as chairman of any committee in a political party of which he is a member. The APC CECPC remains on firm ground.”

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