Amidst renewed calls for the return of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party has declared that Atiku is not guaranteed an automatic ticket to contest the presidential election in 2019 on the PDP platform.
Atiku, who has been a serial decampee, is rumoured to have interest in the presidency come 2019.
With signs increasingly pointing to the likelihood of a second term campaign by Pres. Muhammadu Buhari, the chances of Atiku getting the APC ticket looks slim. There are speculations that the Turakin Adamawa may use another party platform to realise his presidential ambition. As one of the founding members of the PDP, the leading opposition is looking like his likely destination.
However, the Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, has said that if Atiku returns to the PDP as being speculated, he would be welcomed with open arms but will have to contest with other aspirants to be the party’s flagbearer.
“We are ready to accept him. But, he must follow the rules of the game. First, he must undergo primaries like any other person, and he must fight for the presidential ticket,” he said.
Speaking with newsmen in Kaduna, Jibrin listed former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido; a former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, as some of the persons who have signified interest in being the PDP flagbearer and added that “If the PDP grants Atiku a waiver, he should then join the cream of presidential aspirants in the party to fight for the ticket in 2019. If the PDP considers Atiku for the automatic presidential ticket, what about those in the party who are showing interest? Should we throw them away? If he is coming, he should come as an equal partner.”