2023: Why PDP needs Atiku – Ex Akwa Ibom Deputy Gov. Ekpotu

Atiku Abubakar


Former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Engineer Patrick Ekpotu, has said that in spite of the agitations within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), for the South to produce the president in 2023, political pragmatism dictates that the party needs the experience and reach of the former Vice President, Atiku Abubarka, to wrest power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP, he said, needs a united front and a purpose-driven strategy anchored on honest practical and viable options before it, to meaningfully challenge for power in 2023.

He said that the current conversation about zoning, which according to him, is not totally a bad idea, was elicited by insensitive political leadership that has overtime foisted nepotism in every facet of the system, thereby hurting the sensibility of many and leading to unveiled disillusionment, mutual distrust and widespread anger across the nation.

This, according to him, is increasingly widening the chasm of disunity and unexpectedly forcing many into sectional, ethnic or religious enclaves and draining the oxygen of a dream nation that promote character, capacity and merit in leadership selection process, rather than parochialism.

Ekpotu made these assertions in a statement in Abuja, on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

According to the former deputy governor, this is not ordinary times, and the PDP and its faithful should appreciate this fact, and make informed decisions, devoid of regional, ethnic or religious sentiments, if the party is serious with its intent to take back power from the APC.

He said that Nigeria has never been this divided and almost in total ruination in all fronts since the return of democracy in 1999.

Ekpotu: “Nigeria is in a cross road and must make quick pragmatic decisions that would ensure the nation comes out of the dark valley it has found itself in recent years. And the PDP must have to lead this charge, as it apparently has the best chance more than ever before, in recent years of dethroning the ruling party.”

Continuing, he said, “If we must tell ourselves the truth, it must be noted that our nation is in a terrible shape; the economy is in total shambles, all economic indicators are in the negative. This grave situation is made worse by the intractable security menace.

“Nigeria deserves a new direction, rejigged vision, rejuvenated vigour and an inspiring leadership, that would prioritize the peace, unity, progress and happiness of Nigerians. That, to me is the yearning of many people across board.

“But PDP must have to put its best foot forward in order to meet this overwhelming yearning of the people to sweep APC away from power come 2023.

“With no prejudice to the capacity of any other aspirants, or my own region, South South, in PDP, to take a shot at the top job, Atiku’s political, administrative and human and resource management experiences, both in the public and private sector, present a visible edge that wouldn’t be easy to honestly gloss over.”

Ekpotu said that Atiku’s “apparent pan-Nigerianess, will make him a veritable unifier and a healing balm to the bruises in our nation, inflicted by years of soulless policy of exclusion, especially under the watch of the current administration. Also, beyond his capacity, going by our current national mood, the moment practically requires a figure like him.

“So, I’m of the opinion that for PDP to achieve the desired result in the general elections and free the people from the chokehold of the APC, it must focus on the bigger picture of regaining presidential power, by finding a way to concentrate its energy, resources and ingenuity in surmounting the hurdle of contesting power with an incumbent party, rather than sustaining the current disruptive, self-sabotaging zoning debate.

“In a democracy, such as ours, everyone is always quick to consider themselves as democrats, so, it is imperative that we also exhibit our democratic attributes, especially at this crucial period of our democracy practice. Democracy abhours exclusion. So, as a democratic party, PDP would be living up to its name, by encouraging all its faithful interested in the presidential race to come forward, by providing a level playing ground, irrespective of zone or other contentious considerations.”

“Despite that the party’s zoning arrangement is morally and otherwise indebted to the North, having only held presidential power on its ticket for only 1½ years (late president Yaradua) against the South’s 14 years ( under former Presidents Obasanjo and Johnathan), encouragement of all its faithful from both the North and South will better reposition the party.”