Zoning Controversy: Atiku, NPLF Willing To Dialogue With Jonathan

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 03, (THEWILL) - Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar today said that he alongside the Adamu Ciroma led Northern Political Leaders Forum are “amenable to dialogue.”

Atiku’s Media Office say he spoke against the background of relentless pressure and blackmail in the media by “busy bodies over his alleged reluctance to congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan on the outcome of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primaries held on January 13, 2011.”

In a statement issued on his behalf by his Media Office in Abuja, the former Vice President said that the group that put him forward for the PDP presidential primaries is prepared for discussion but will not succumb to baseless propaganda against his person and group.

“Instead of this rigmarole by busy bodies, I believe that an appropriate response should be to open a window for negotiation on how to strengthen our party for the challenges ahead,” Atiku said.

He recalled that he had informed the nation and his associates that he was consulting on the outcome of the primaries and that whatever his position on the January 13, 2011 primaries was clearly made available to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He wondered why it has become a full time job of some people to force his hand on the decision to concede victory to President Goodluck Jonathan, the statement said.

The former Vice President noted that with “his campaign organisation having forwarded its misgivings about the irregularities that attended the primaries, the media and those hiding under their cover should be patient enough to await the outcome of its resolution.”

According to him, it amounts to blackmail to force a man to take any action without evaluating its effects on his group, loyalists, associates and supporters.

However, the former Vice President urged those who feel strongly about the situation to open discussion with his group on the issues instead of the now “familiar harassment against him by political jobbers.

“If those who have won the so-called victory are confident of the genuineness of their victory, they should go on,” he stated.

The former Vice President, however, restated his commitment to democracy, rule of law, credible elections, national unity, political stability, progress and development of Nigeria.

He reaffirmed his entire campaign team’s unwavering commitment and loyalty to the PDP and its noble objectives, the statement added.

Recall Atiku was chosen as the ‘Consensus Candidate of the North’ by a northern political group under the aegis of the Northern Political Leaders Forum.

He however lost by a very wide margin at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential primary at the Eagle Square in Abuja.