2027: I’ll support Obi, says Atiku


Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has expressed his readiness to support Peter Obi as the party’s candidate if the South-East region is chosen for the 2027 presidential race.

In a recent interview with BBC Hausa Service, Atiku explained that his decision to contest the 2023 presidential election stemmed from the party’s decision to open the presidential ticket to all contenders. He further stated his readiness to extend support if the candidacy is zoned to the Southern region of the country.

“I have said repeatedly and I even said it before the 2023 general elections that if the PDP decides to zone the presidential ticket to the South or South-East specifically, I won’t contest it. As long as it’s the decision of the party, I will abide by it. But I contested the 2023 presidential ticket because it was thrown open to all members of the party.

“If the party decides that it’s the turn of the South-East and Peter Obi is chosen, I won’t hesitate to support him,”

He added that a merger between the PDP and Labour Party is possible.

Atiku added that members of the party would decide his fate in the 2027 general elections.

The former Vice President mentioned that his recent meeting with Obi might indicate a possible alliance leading up to the 2027 general elections.

Responding to questions about the meeting with Obi, Atiku said, “It’s just a normal friendly meeting that we often have, particularly among us in the opposition parties. Such meetings are healthy for Nigeria’s democracy and in the country’s interest.”

On whether this will bring about a merger, he said, “Yes, it’s very much possible. We can merge to achieve a common goal. So, it’s possible, and nothing can stop it if we wish to achieve that.”

The former Vice President, who denied that the choice of presidential candidate might frustrate the merger discussion, said, “That’s not true. That challenge will not arise. I can tell you that the choice of who will fly the flag of the party won’t be an issue.”

On why he’s still in active politics, Atiku said, “Yes, we can’t keep quiet and watch things go wrong. People are suffering and we are committed to making Nigeria a better place.

“It means you are not tired of politics of Nigeria? Not at all. I am still in active politics in Nigeria, at least, as long as God permits.

“My age doesn’t stop the young ones from testing their fate. Everybody, irrespective of age, is allowed to aspire to be anybody in the society, politically or otherwise.”

Regarding his 2027 Presidential ambition, the former Vice President said “That would depend on the decision of my party. I can’t make any categorical statement on that. It’s the duty of the party to decide on the way to go in the next election.

“Until that time comes. Let’s just wait and see how it will turn out.

“It must not be interpreted like that. I must not be eyeing elections to have meetings with political friends and associates. Currently, we are practising democracy in this country which we fought for with our blood.”

Last week, Obi held a private meeting with Atiku and some other PDP leaders in Abuja.

Obi also met separately with former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and former Senate President Bukola Saraki, sparking speculation about a possible coalition for the 2027 general elections.

Obi was a PDP member until 2022, when he left to pursue his presidential ambitions with the Labour Party.

He finished third behind Atiku in the February 23 presidential election, which was won by Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress.

Atiku blamed Obi’s departure from the PDP for his loss to Tinubu.

Analysts argued that Atiku’s 6,984,520 votes combined with Obi’s 6,101,533 votes could have secured a win against Tinubu, who received 8,794,726 votes.

Monday’s meeting marked the first public interaction between Obi and Atiku since the election.

Social media and online platforms were flooded with viral photos of Obi’s meetings with the three PDP figures on Monday.

In 2019, Atiku and Obi ran together on the PDP ticket but were defeated by former President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.

However, due to internal conflicts, Obi, who was Atiku’s running mate in 2019, left the PDP and ran as the Labour Party’s candidate in the 2023 presidential election.


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