20181028

Atiku Having Another Issue With Some Igbo Leaders?

First it was that they were not consulted before the nomination of Peter Obi. Now it's that PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar must sign undertaking that he will serve only one term, if he wins, before they can give him full support for 2019.

Since there is no strong presence of APC in the South-East, it is unlikely that President Buhari will handover power to an Igbo man in 2023, if he wins in 2019. Already, the likes of Bola Tinubu are strategizing to take over from Buhari, since the South-West is fully in control of APC.

So, the hope of Igbos for 2023 is still on PDP and Atiku.

But according to The Nation, Atiku does not seem to be interested in committing himself to a single term in office if he wins next year’s election.

Prominent Igbo leaders are said to have been putting pressure on Atiku to agree to do only one term in office as a condition for the geo-political zone to support him.

The idea is to pave the way for one of them to succeed him in 2023.

But Atiku, who believes his choice of Mr. Peter Obi from the zone is enough as an expression of his respect for the people, is not keen on doing one term.

Southeast stakeholders, including prominent political leaders, are worried that the zone may have to wait till 2026 to have a shot at the Presidency should Atiku stick to his gun, and goes on to win the 2019 election.

The Nation learnt that the issue was the main subject of discussion as a meeting in Enugu last week when a committee earlier mandated to discuss the request with Atiku and his handlers reported back to the house.

The committee, sources said, informed the meeting that the PDP presidential candidate gave no definite answer on their proposal.

Those at the meeting were said to have expressed disappointment at the situation, coming so soon after Atiku was accused of not consulting them in picking Obi as his running mate.

Although Atiku had, in a previous interview pledged to do only one term, sources said he has refused so far to give any such undertaking since he was nominated at the Port Harcourt convention of the PDP.

Atiku was quoted in that interview as saying: “I have said it before on my own initiative… if I am elected as the president in 2019; I give an undertaking that I would only do one term… I am prepared to sign an undertaking to do only one term.”

Sources said he has not come forward to give effect to that vow, since he got the PDP ticket.

A source close to him confirmed the development to The Nation but denied that Atiku is now dodging the issue.

He recalled that Atiku had publicly said he might do one term if elected.

He, however, frowned at what he described as an attempt to ‘box’ the PDP presidential hopeful to a corner even before he is elected president.

The source said:”I can tell you categorically that Atiku, as a person, is committed to keeping his promises.

“But in politics, every little detail matters. While they may say he will win the confidence of the Igbo by signing an undertaking like that are they thinking of how his people from the North will feel about such move?

“We were all living witnesses to how such a commitment became the albatross of former President Jonathan.

“There is no crisis over this matter and it is not true that Atiku doesn’t want to discuss the issue. I suspect that those who claim to be acting on behalf of those making the demands are not being truthful about the real situation of things.

“If a man has given his words publicly and you still want more, then you will have to do more to get more.”