Jonathan's ambition will polarise Nigeria-Atiku

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Olusola Fabiyi

Former vice-president and presidential aspirant, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said that President Goodluck Jonathan’s insistence on contesting the 2011 elections will polarise Nigeria.

He said the President’s ambition was also against the zoning system provided for in the party’s constitution and the pact of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party.

However, the President’s camp has replied the former vice-president, saying his ambition to pick the PDP’s presidential ticket was not in the interest of the North.

According to a statement issued by the Atiku Campaign Organisation in Abuja on Wednesday, the aspirant spoke on Tuesday in Sokoto, in continuation of his nationwide tour of the country.

He was quoted as saying that the country, which he claimed was already divided along regional, ethnic and religious fault lines, should be spared further divisions, as represented by Jonathan’s bid to appropriate a mandate meant for the North.

Abubakar said, “This nation has survived thus far because our founding fathers have maintained a delicate balance between the regions; between the two great religions and among our various ethnic groups.

“I’m convinced that those who want power rotation jettisoned do not have the best interest of the country at heart. The anti-zoning elements want to plunge this country into a needless crisis.”

But the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Mohammed Abba-Aji, described Abubakar as a selfish man, who wanted to short-change the people of the North because of his personal ambition.

Aba-Aji called on northerners to reject the former vice-president, “because his claim is personal; as he is aware that when Jonathan leaves office in 2015, it will be the turn of the North to rule for eight years.”

In another development, Atiku has welcomed the acceptance of his invitation by the president and Kwara State Governor Bukola Saraki to participate in the proposed presidential debate to discuss the economy.


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