Frontline contender for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 election and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has said the focus of all those contending to fly the flag of the PDP is to focus on the objective of defeating the All Progressives Congress in next year’s general election.
The position of Abubakar was also re-echoed by another PDP presidential aspirant and former National Chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
Abubakar made the remark when he paid courtesy visit on Makarfi at his Kaduna residence on Saturday in continuation of his nationwide consultations ahead of the party’s primaries next month.
He said: “This visit is significant and special because I came here on a campaign trip.
“I feel it is absolutely necessary being a colleague and also the former chairman of the party who actually brought about the current structure of the party and leadership into existence.
“First of all to put it on record and to also commend your leadership, for the fact that you were able to, at a very critical time in the history of this political party steer the affairs of the party.
“That you presided over the emergence of the leadership in a very democratic process clearly shows your leadership qualities that we must all acknowledge and commend.
“So, I came to publicly pronounce that and to commend your leadership and to tell you that I hold you in very high esteem.
“The fact that you have been able to do that clearly also indicates that you have a lot of potentials to offer to this country that cannot be taken away from you.
“Again, here you have another historic role to play, having belonged to the same political set with me that ushered in democracy in 1999.
“I believe that since we are still active and healthy, we still have the responsibility that the democracy that we brought back can be sustained in a manner that will bring about progress, development and unity of the country.
“I will like to appeal to you that we continue to work together like we have done before in this country so that we can sustain our democratic process which should lead us to progress and development for the benefit of our people.
“We are now at crossroads in this country, because you can definitely acknowledge since the return of democracy we have not had a worst period than now in terms of economy, security, or unity; this is the worst since 1999.
“I think and believe that if we work together, we will return this country back to the path of peace, stability, progress and development.
“I thank you very much on behalf of my delegation for giving me this opportunity to pay you a courtesy visit and commend your leadership qualities.”
Makarfi on his part said: “Atiku Abubakar has just come home because Kaduna is home to Atiku.
“I remember all the early meetings and struggles between 1998 and 1999, the critical meetings that took place at your residence when we were governor-elect which set us on the path of victory.
“We spent long nights together working for PDP and that made us successful.
“I welcome you and I know you have had a hectic day and a tight schedule.
“I like your spirit and I have said in a number of meetings that even before the elections you made up your mind to return home to PDP without asking for any concessions and as a democrat who likes to work for what he earns, you have been working hard which is very commendable.
“I give you credit for that.
“As you mentioned, this should be seen as a collective issue because we all have our individual interests but our interests should be subsumed by the larger collective interest, and even within that collective interest, the issue of justice, fairness, equity and the need to really do what is in the overall best interest of everybody.
“You are capable.
“As one of the candidates that are seeking to fly the flag of the party, we have a lot of capable candidates in the PDP but even among all the capable, for me, I am a team player who can work and settle on whatever way the others.”