Kassim Afegbua, the former Edo State Commissioner of Information and assistant to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has dismissed the former number two man’s prospects of standing for president in 2023 due to his advanced age.
In a statement released after a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, Afegbua, a founding member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said the PDP would be shooting itself in the foot if it gave Atiku the presidential ticket, saying it was not only immoral but also a disservice to better qualified candidates.
Afegbua also advised the former Vice President to set aside his own ambitions and support a younger candidate from the South-East.
“With the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, having ended its convention with a new leadership that appears promising, the party will have to climb above board to produce a presidential candidate from the southern half of the nation to complete the story,” Afegbua said in a statement.
“Given President Muhammadu Buhari’s abysmal performance as a result of his age, incompetence, and lack of political will to take deliberate and sustained action to rescue the country from all manner of challenges, it will be immoral for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to continue to express interest in running for president in 2023 despite having reached retirement age.”
“He can’t play the role of eternal candidate or professional aspirant year after year, as if the party was founded just for him.”
“It defies logic for such an elderly guy to enter another round of political competition at a time when the overall sentiment and mood in the country favors a younger Nigerian from the south.”
“In my opinion, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should abandon his presidential bid and back a southern Nigerian candidate in the spirit of fairness, equity, and justice, which will alleviate the concerns of stakeholders in the southern portion of the country.”
“Any contender of Northern ancestry who expresses interest in the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s presidential election in 2023 will be violating the rules of the game and natural justice.”
“Anyone from the North showing such interest, given our diversity and heterogeneous political configurations, will insult national sensitivities, emotions, and reasoning.”
“Given the PDP’s theory of political power balance and fairness, ceding the ticket to any Northern contender, least of all Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will be against its own unwritten law.”