2023: Why Atiku Will Defeat Tinubu In Presidential Election – Owokoniran
With Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), do you think that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, your presidential candidate, can match him at the polls?
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will defeat Tinubu in the next coming election. Alhaji Atiku has been a political leader in this country for quite some time. During the third republic he was a player at the centre. He was the one who stepped down for MKO Abiola at the convention and made it possible for MKO to pick the ticket as the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). At that point in time Tinubu was a second level player. I know that with the experience of Alhaji Atiku and having been in the race for quite some time, having got enough connections across the country, he is not like someone who just picked the ticket for the very first time. He has built a network of friends and colleagues all over the country. I know that Atiku will defeat Tinubu.
Politics is a game of numbers, and considering what the Southern and Middle Belt Forum Leaders Forum (SMBLF), said that they will not support any political party that doesn’t field a southern presidential candidate, don’t you think that will affect Atiku, your presidential candidate?
I don’t think so. I believe that at point in time these statements are targeted at creating opportunities for the Middle Belt, believing that somebody emerging from the South will give it a chance to take the vice presidential ticket. The configuration has changed now and in any case we cannot use the same pattern that the APC is using. Our pattern must be different because in PDP we consider the way the different zones have benefitted from the presidency. You will see from the South-West where there has been a share of the presidency, it won’t be safe within our party to say that the presidency will go to the South- West. The South-East bided for the presidency but unfortunately didn’t work out which means that PDP is not ready for a Southern president, otherwise with the amount that was spent to ensure that the thing went the other way, it could have happened and now that the configuration has changed, we will have to sit down and deliberate on what will make it possible for our party to win.
You said that it didn’t work for the South-East to get it, why didn’t it work? Secondly, the region felt neglected that after serving the PDP for over two decades they have been treated so badly, how is your party going to handle the situation?
I believe that was demonstrated by Governor Wike of Rivers State, it is clear to him what played out at the convention. The PDP South- East or South-South desired it, they should have worked it out among themselves, they shouldn’t have had that many candidates that split their votes because in my thinking, a good number of them from that area did their calculations and decided that possibly this is not what they need now and when they will have their turn, they will be safe and secure to keep the presidency at that point in time. This is the way it should go. I think that is the message that I got from that convention. A good number of the people from that region supported Atiku, apart from the fact that they also split their votes.
There is this speculation that it happened that way because the process was monetised, the votes went to the highest bidder?
It is not true. If I want to go on a race and I want to defeat my opponent, I will select the delegates and mobilise them. If everybody mobilised across the board it means that at the end of the day, money cancels money. It was an issue of who will serve us the better, and this choice was made at that convention. Indicators are here for people to see that the South-East and South-South own the party; will they abandon the party because they didn’t pick the ticket? I don’t think so. I think that they spoke loud and clear that now it is safe to be in the hands of Atiku, You see Atiku’s argument that time was that he got over 11 million votes, he should be given the right of choice now. We are in the opposition and we must tread carefully. It is okay for the APC to take chances, for us now it is our topmost priority to take the trophy away from them.
There is also this speculation that the popularity of Atiku has waned and that he may not be able to poll that number of votes as he did in 2019. What are your thoughts?
I don t think that is correct. Atiku is still very popular in the North, so that analysis is not correct.
A lot of your members are aggrieved, how do you want to appease them to win the election?
The issue is not all about who has emerged as the running mate to Atiku, when PDP takes over power; we have other positions to allocate to people. We have the secretary of state; we have the Ministry of Petroleum, and so all those people that you said are aggrieved have these things in sight. If they struggle for one and they don’t get it, they are ready for other appointments.
People are really clamouring for a younger president, considering Atiku’s age, do you think that he can poll the weight he polled in 2019, and also the fact that Peter Obi will not be on the PDP ballot?
A lot of these young people that you talk about are only active on social media. I don’t know how ready they are to get actively involved in politics. It is true that Peter Obi brought in a lot of people, but he could have done better even with Obi. The South-East votes were 400,000 plus, 300,000 plus, could that be their best? If the region had given us 1million votes, we would be singing a different song. A good number of the PDP members didn’t accept Peter Obi at that time because he was from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), though in the South-East, they see APGA as an integral part of PDP because they don’t vote APC. When the campaign starts, elections will begin to tighten up as we move closer, it is at that point that we will say whether the 11 million is intact or not, for now, people are just speculating based on social media. What I know is that our country from the question that you have asked is, where the North, South- West, South-South and South-East will cast their votes. Basically they will want to know what is there for them, if these are the basis for the questions, which is what is going to give strength to the votes. The East will be looking at, even if they vote for one of their own, are they going to cross the line. Will they settle for third place or second place? Why not support the PDP so that next time around they will have the presidency? It is easier for South- East to get the president under PDP than anywhere else. South-West has never voted in one direction even since the days of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, except when MKO Abiola contested in 1993 and that was because MKO Abiola was never part of the progressives, he was part of the National council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC).
People are concerned that the national chairman of your party is not talking about resigning after the presidential candidate emerged from the North. What is your view?
The people saying that are agents of destruction. How can he conclude the primary and then you say that the chairman that midwifed the process should resign, it is strange. Remember that it is not just the position of the national chairman that will change. We cannot have the chairman in the South and the secretary in the South, so if the chairman comes to the South, the secretary will go to the North. It means the rearrangement of the positions.
The governor-elect of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, on Monday, said that neither he nor his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), was involved in the widespread vote-buying alleged to have taken place during last Saturday’s election that he won.
Speaking with correspondents after being presented to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential, Abuja, he said he did not witness any vote-buying in the polling unit where he voted.
The governor-elect said he won the poll based on the performance of the outgoing administration in the state in which he played a prominent role.
The former Secretary to State Government (SGF) said he canvased for votes using the record of performance of the administration and what he had to offer the people going forward.
He was accompanied by the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdulahi Adamu, Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) as well as former Ekiti State governor, Niyi Adebayo.
Also speaking, Adamu affirmed that the allegation of vote-buying was raised by elements who were losing at the poll.
The houses to be constructed in detached and semi-detached duplexes fall within the first phase development of the estate located in the State capital.
The State Commissioner for Finance and Chief Economic Adviser, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, who disclosed this at a meeting with the developers in Abeokuta, explained that the proposed first phase of the development would be constructed on 50 out of the entire 500-hectare estate.
He added that the engagement of private partners was a further attestation of the incumbent government’s confidence in Public-Private Partnership(PPP) as major catalyst to the overall development of any nation.
The Commissioner charged them to deliver world class project saying government places high premium on quality job delivery.
The project, according to him would be supervised by the Ministries of Finance, Physical Planning and urban Development, Housing, Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Bureau of Lands and Survey.
The project is expected to be delivered before the end of the first term of the current administration.
In attendance at the meeting were the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olatunji Odunlami, Managing Director, OPIC, Biodun Fari-Arole, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Revenue Assurance, Mr. Seyi Ogunseye, and representatives of the Ministry of Housing as well as other agencies.
Ughelli (Delta), June 19, 2022 Chief Kenneth Gbagi, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate in Delta, has called on Nigerians to support any presidential candidate from the Southern part of the country in the 2023 general elections.
Gbagi, also a former Minister of State for Education, made the call on Sunday at a media briefing in his hometown in Oginibo Community, Ughelli South Local Government area of the state.
“I will support any presidential candidate from the South. I do not know how to pretend.
“I urged Nigerians to support the shift of government from the North to South based on the principle of equity.
“We believe in one Nigeria and I do not hate the North. Anything that will scuttle the shift of governance to the South for eight years and back to the North for eight years is unacceptable,” he said.
The governorship candidate said that this was his first time of appearing on the ballot papers to seek for elective position, assuring that he would win the 2023 election.
Gbagi, a former chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta, said that his decision to leave the party was not to divide votes as being insinuated in some quarters.
“I want to be on the ballot papers and let God decide my faith at the poll.
“I am running on the ticket of SDP and for your information, this is the first time in my life I will be running for an election in any political party.
“I am a competent man and that is why I wanted to prove my competency at the ballot.
“Among the gladiators wanting to be governor in Delta, I am their senior brother in the profession of politics.
“I am the only one who has served Nigeria at the cabinet level of the Federal Government,” he said.
On the structure of SDP in Delta, Gbagi said that the 2023 general elections would not be based on structures, adding that the electorate would vote for leaders that would guarantee the future of their children.
The candidate said he would work with the youth, pensioners and others that meant well for the state.
Gbagi assured the people that when voted as governor, he would revive the ailing industries in the state to generate employment and increase the revenue base of the state.
According to him, other areas of focus would be: education, health, pensioners, among others.