A former Vice President and presidential hopeful of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said the APC presidential primaries scheduled for December 10 is between him and others.
Atiku who spoke through the Director of Media and Publicity of the Atiku Campaign Organization, Mallam Garba Shehu said in Abuja when he visited Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT council that due to realities on ground the contest has narrowed down between him and others given his reach and acceptability in the party.
His words, “We have made great strides. It was formally four aspirants, but it has been reduced to a two- man race and Atiku is currently leading. By 10th of December Atiku will win. He is in Enugu now as I am talking to you. We are working hard, reaching out as you don’t clinch the ticket from the comfort of your house. He is talking to stakeholders, leaders and delegates as well. The mood in the campaign is upbeat and he is going to make it. He is going to run a one horse race” he said.
When asked on who has been removed in the contest that left the race open to Atiku and one other, Shehu optimistically said nobody has been removed but as a good analyst through deduction one should know that the race for APC presidential ticket is between Atiku and others.
“Nobody has been removed, APC is a democratic party. There is no decree that says that somebody has been removed. You still have officially four candidates who are in the contest. What I am saying is that you as an analyst looking at the field as it is, you can make deductions. You will see it is a two man race. Whether you put Atiku with Kwankwaso or Buhari, we know we are in to clinch the ticket”.
On why Atiku is always critical of federal government policies, he said the idea of democracy is all about interest aggregation and making people believe you can perform better that the incumbent.
“The idea of democracy is rooted in periodic free and fair election. Election is always a choice between candidate A, B, OR C, now people must see the difference between you and others. If we don’t challenge people in authority, it will never get better. That is the essence of opposition in politics. The whole idea is to tell the public that this guy is not doing well and I can do better.
“So, there is no offence in opposition politician looking at government policy pillowing and tearing it to shreds for people to know. It is also factually incorrect to say that Atiku has never commended any government policy”.
He went on to say that if it has been praises all the time from every quarters it means there is no competition which democracy is all about.
“If APC is praising PDP what will be the deference between the two political parties. Politics is just the idea of telling people you are better than this man and you have more plans than him. It is not about replacing the President by force but through free and fair election. You shouldn’t forget that Atiku was the first person to commend Federal Government and Nigerians on the success recorded on Ebola deadly virus. Again, the Almajiri programme of the present government was well commended by Alhaji Atiku. He even congratulated Jonathan on the last election”.
On the devaluation of naira by the apex bank, Garba said the Atiku Campaign Organization is still studying the situation and will be coming out with a statement soon.
He also disclosed that the Adamawa born politician will still be in the party and support the candidate if he loses out in the primaries.