Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal in proxy war over PDP ticket

Proxy war among contenders for the 2023 presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is gathering steam, it was learnt yesterday.

Those who have signified interest for the opposition party’s slot include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Senate presidents Pius Anyim and Bukola Saraki, governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi).

Others are: former Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso; industrialist Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and Ovation magazine publisher Dele Momodu.

Atiku’s former aide and political associate Segun Sowunmi fired the first salvo in his letter to the PDP Governors Forum last week, asking the party to reject “kindergarten president and commander-in-chief.

Sowunmi’s letter was viewed as a veiled reference to younger contenders in the race against 75-year-old Atiku, who he described as “highly experienced”.

The letter reads in part: “Everyone wants to be President after Buhari but not everyone can do the work that a post-Buhari President will be called upon to do. Presidential powers and privileges mean nothing if the prerequisite experience is absent. We cannot jump from frying pan to fire.”

Spokesman of a group within the PDP, Dr. Rufus Omeire, defended the young elements jostling for the PDP ticket.

He queried Atiku’s political relevance above other aspirants.

Writing under the eagis of the PDP Action 2023, Omeire questioned Sowunmi’s classification of Atiku as an “experienced” politician, stating that the forever vice president only played subordinate roles in public offices he held in the past.

Omeire stated: “With respect to relevant experience for the top job, let us x-ray the candidates. Atiku Abubakar’s public sector experience consists of Deputy Director of Customs, a subordinate position.

never became chief executive of Customs and Excise Department. The buck never for one day stopped on his table in the Customs Service.

“He became vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a highly exalted office, but he was never a chief executive. He only carried out instructions of his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo.

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