Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has expressed worry over what he called attempts from some quarters to create the impression that he is not eligible to vie for the presidency in 2015.
Atiku said yesterday that those who claim to have the gift of foresight, especially what would happen in 2015, should stop playing God, because ‘‘we do not know tomorrow’’.
The former vice-president’s statement is coming on the heels of a recent clarification from the presidency that President Goodluck Jonathan was serving his first term in office.
A statement from Atiku’s media office yesterday said, “In this post-zoning era, President Jonathan is free to contest, his younger brothers or anyone from Otuoke village are free to contest, while Atiku Abubakar is also very eminently qualified to aspire to become the president of Nigeria in 2015.
President Jonathan can aspire to contest for the presidency as many times as he wants with Bamanga Tukur as the PDP chairman. But, these must not stop Atiku from raising his hands for presidency.
“Those who are engaged in political blackmail should desist and look up to God who is the author and finisher of the many desires of a man’s heart.
He is also the Supreme Being, the only one who can determine the future with certainty, including what happens in 2015. It is also instructive, as Chinua Achebe advised, that those whose palm-kernel has been cracked by benevolent spirits should not forget to be humble.”
The statement further said that since the last PDP convention, which produced Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman, the media have been awash with all kinds of analyses and permutations on the implications of the outcome of the convention on Atiku’s presidential ambition.
“Some of these political fortune-tellers have, in a desperate attempt to keep their man, meaning, President Goodluck Jonathan in power beyond 2015, foreclosed Atiku’s bid for the presidency. They think Atiku’s bid can no longer see the light of the day. They are wrong, dead wrong!
‘‘For Atiku Abubakar, whose political qualities and skills are not hidden to Nigerians, the 2015 presidential race has not become his pre-occupation, considering the fact that President Jonathan has not even completed one year into the tenure and that is why Atiku has not even made any policy statement on this administration. There is no doubt, that Atiku is the issue in Nigerian politics today! We do not know of tomorrow,” it further stated.
The statement recalled that, since May 29, 2007, when Atiku left office as a vice-president, the Senate and the House of Representatives had carried out probes in different sectors of the economy - the Bureau of Public Enterprises, power sector, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, to petroleum subsidy and capital markets and pensions.
Where and when in all these, it queried has Atiku’s name or those of his family or close associates been mentioned or indicted?
“If the intentions of these ghost political jobbers are to make way for President Jonathan to violate his promise of not contesting for the presidency in 2015 and therefore remain in office beyond that year, these agents of political power-mongering do not need Atiku’s name to achieve all that.
“Atiku stood and fought for zoning in 2011 to ensure equity and maintain the constitution of the party. He was there at the 1994-1995 Constitutional Conference where the six geopolitical zones were created and zoning made part of the constitution of Nigeria to give a sense of belonging to all parts of the country, particularly the minority ethnic groups which President Jonathan is part of.
It was unfortunate that General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s military government removed the zoning clause from the constitution.
From here, the PDP picked up the battle and made it its own. The party inserted zoning in its constitution and this accounts for why its fortunes soared. President Jonathan and his political supporters ensured that zoning in the PDP constitution was destroyed in 2011,” it said.