The Labour Party and the Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation on Friday berated the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, for saying he will win the election next year.
Specifically, the Director-General of Asiwaju Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation, Adebayo Shittu, told Saturday PUNCH that the outcome of the 2023 general election would shock Atiku.
He said, “Talk is cheap. Tinubu will be waiting for him. Despite coming from Adamawa, Atiku’s people will prefer to vote for Tinubu.
“When people ask me why I think so, I tell them the evidence is there for all to see. What has Atiku done for his people in Adamawa since he became a politician?
“We in Tinubu’s camp have no fear and we will lose no sleep over the threat of Atiku. Our number one priority in the North-East is to beat him in his constituency in Adamawa. Our victory in 2023 will just be like the MKO Abiola’s election.”
Also, Valentine Obienyem, Peter Obi’s spokesperson, said Obi would win next year’s election.
“Things are not working well in Nigeria today, we have acute hunger in the land. Is it social media generated? We have many things going wrong in Nigeria, not because of social media.
“If it is not because of social media, you cannot say that it’s only those in social media that feel the impact. So, whether you’re in the social media, villages and wherever you are in Nigeria today, we are having the impact of hard times.
“Whether they’re in social media or not does not really affect the vote. I can tell you that 80 per cent of Nigerians believe that it is Peter Obi that will solve all these problems. So, his followership is not social media generated, but a product of the dysfunction that we have in the society today. Followers of Obi go beyond social media,” he added.
Earlier, Atiku had said although he is friends with the All Progressives Congress standard bearer, Bola Tinubu, he is determined to defeat him in next February’s election.
Atiku said these during an interview with Arise Television which aired on Friday.
“Of course, we are still friends but that doesn’t mean we will not have political differences. We have been having political differences since we became friends,” he stated.
When asked if he was determined to defeat Tinubu despite their relationship, the former Vice-President said, “Of course.”
He, however, disagreed with Tinubu for picking a Muslim as his running mate, adding that this would be a threat to Nigeria’s unity.
It said Atiku’s remark against Obi showed that the ex-Anambra State governor posed a threat to the PDP candidate’s presidential ambition.
The party’s acting National Publicity Secretary, Arabambi Abayomi, said on Friday that the fact that Obi was being constantly attacked showed that he had become a threat to the APC and the PDP.
“All that the presidential candidate of the PDP and its candidate talk about now are Obi and the Labour Party because Nigeria’s structure has changed for the Labour Party.
“I say so because, for the first time in history, we have the NLC and the TUC declaring that workers are members of the Labour Party. Our popularity has sent shivers down their spine; they are not only jittery; they are also confused,” he said.
Meanwhile, Atiku has dismissed claims by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State that the PDP committee set up to select his running mate, picked Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Atiku, who said he was ready to make the recommendations public, said the committee listed three names, including Wike.
He, however, said efforts were on to address disagreements in the party.
On the claim that the PDP had become a northern party since all top leadership positions were being held by northerners, Atiku said the Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, who is from the North-Central, will step aside once the PDP wins the Presidential election.
When asked if his former principal, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, would support him, Atiku said he expected Obasanjo to support him because he was the only one that could carry on his legacy.
He disagreed with the 17 security agencies in the country being headed by people from the same section of the country.
Atiku also said there was an urgent need to remove petrol subsidy. He added that when he and Obasanjo were in government, there was a plan to remove subsidy but this was jettisoned by successive governments.
“It is inevitable (subsidy removal) but has to happen. It has to be accomplished through negotiations with the organised labour and other sectors of the economy. That policy should resume,” he said.