FORMER vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has cleared the air on his 2023 presidential aspirations revealing that he is yet to make a decision on whether to stand or not as he is still considering his options.
Serving as the nation’s number two citizen under former president Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, Alhaji Abubakar gas been seeking the top job ever since. In 2019, he finally clinched the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but lost the elections to President Muhammadu Buhari.
It has been widely reported that Alhaji Abubakar will be seeking the PDP ticket for next year’s elections and this time around, he has even picked Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike as his running mate. One problem Atiku has, however, is that he is from the northern half of the country.
Although not constitutional, Nigeria’s component parts have a gentleman’s agreement that the presidency will rotate between the north and the south of the country. President Buhari’s tenure will end in 2023 and being a Fulani northern Muslim, it is expected that the next president will come from southern Nigeria.
Dismissing suggestions that he is already a candidate, Atiku said he is still considering running for the presidency in 2023. He added that his consideration on whether to run or not was due to the challenges facing the country.
According to the former vice president, the country was more divided now than it was during the Nigerian Civil War. Addressing members of the Let’s Fix Nigeria With Atiku group in his residence in Abuja, Alhaji Abubakar said insecurity and poverty had become prevalent in the country.
He added: “I have never seen this country with so many challenges at the same time. So, sometimes, when I am on my bed, I begin to wonder whether to go for it or not because the challenges are just too many. In my life, I have never seen Nigeria in such a bad situation.
“As far as the unity of this country is concerned, we are more divided. Even when we fought the Civil War, we were never as divided as this. We never had a breakdown of law and order like this because when we fought the Civil War as it was confined to a particular location, in every other place, there was peace.
“We never had this kind of poverty where even the farmer cannot go to farm the food to eat, not to talk of commercial farming. So, I have never seen this country so bad, and it is going to be a daunting task for anybody to come and turn things around.”