Atiku Formally Declares To Run For President Again
ABUJA, August 15, (THEWILL) - A few days after the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Executive Committee (NEC) decided to retain its zoning formula, a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar today in Abuja formally declared his intention to contest the 2011 Presidential elections on the platform of the party.
The NEC had also given the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan the go ahead to contest in spite of its insistence on retaining the zoning policy saying the late Yar’Adua/Jonathan ticket was still in tact.
But Atiku’s membership of the Peoples Democratic Party and eligibility to contest on the party’s platform is still a subject of debate as the NEC did not issue him a waiver as a returning member of the party and the Adamawa State chapter of the party has maintained that the former Vice President has not been duly readmitted into its fold.
This is Atiku Abubakar’s third attempt at the Presidency having been an aspirant during the Third Republic on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP) and presidential candidate of the Action Congress (AC) now ACN in 2007.
Abubakar served as vice president under President Olusegun Obasanjo during his two, four-year term presidency. Their time in office marked Nigeria's return to democracy after a string of military dictatorships and failed governments that followed the nation's independence from Britain in 1960.
While making his intention known, Atiku said he decided to run for the highest office after consultation with members of his family as well as friends and associates.
He said, "I have no illusions about the toughness of the challenges ahead, but with the support of our people we can overcome them," he said. He took only a few questions from reporters before rowdy supporters who flooded the event drowned out their voices.
It will be recalled that Atiku Abubakar served as vice president for eight years under former President Olusegun Obasanjo but later fell out with his principal leading to his defection to the AC and subsequently contesting for President against late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
For now, only former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida has signified his intention to run. Although he is yet to formally declare, he wrote to Nigerians in the media last Friday intimating them of his ambition and why he is offering himself again.
Atiku, 63 hails from Adamawa State in North-East Nigeria.