More than three weeks after traveling out of Nigeria to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Presidential Candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has traveled to the United Kingdom (UK).
With crisis in the PDP, most stakeholders in the party are said to be worried that Atiku, who they believed should be at the forefront of meetings with aggrieved leaders of the party like the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Former governor of Ekiti State Ayo Fayose and others, has been out of the country since June.
Some are said to have started making reference to how the former Vice President left Nigeria for Dubai immediately after the 2019 general elections.
It should be recalled that Atiku, jetted out of the country in April 2021 and remained in the UAE and spent over seven months before returning to the country.
Yesterday, sources disclosed to Vanguard that the former Vice President, who has been in Dubai for more than three weeks, has moved to the UK for his Master’s Degree convocation.
The PDP presidential candidate had in November 2021, passed his Masters in International Relations degree program at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.
Recall that Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) will hold its graduation ceremonies in Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough from Monday, 11 July until Friday, 29 July.
Some leaders of the PDP who preferred anonymity told our reporter that it will be unexplainable if Atiku did not return to Nigeria early next week for the Osun State governorship election.
“He was not in Ekiti, won’t he be in Osun too? How are we going to explain his absence? Or is it that he does not understand the importance of the Ekiti and Osun elections? Maybe he is feeling that after winning the primary, he has automatically won the main election,” a PDP leader who is from Plateau State lamented.
A lot of concerned party faithful are also said to be wondering how Atiku will be away in a time like this, which is the last Sallah celebration before the 2023 general elections.
A former member of the party’s National Working Committee said he was getting worried that even “during Sallah celebration, our presidential candidate, a Muslim, is not here to celebrate with our people. This is not too good because there is no other Eid-el-Kabir festival before the election in February, next year.
The former NWC member said himself and many of his colleagues are worried because “if this level of disenchantment by the former Vice President is allowed to grow beyond this level, it will be difficult to handle.”
He lamented that the attitude and language of people around Atiku are not all complimentary, adding that they appeared to be acting like they have won the election already.
“Well-meaning stakeholders of the party should wade in now so that we won’t have a repeat of 2015 and 2019,” he concluded.