Atiku gets red card

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who recently defected to former President Ibrahim Babangida’s party may not have received the blessings of the former military henchman to contest the 2019 presidential election.

Atiku who defected last week from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) met behind closed doors with Babangida only to emerge with stone face after an hour and half.

Journalists and his supporters were on Thursday taken aback when they saw Atiku wearing a long face, an indication that all was not well.

He had visited Babangida in his Minna mansion with a retinue of supporters and journalists to seek support of the retired general for his 2019 presidential aspiration.

Atiku, is reported to have arrived Minna airport to a cheerful reception from his supporters.

Indications earlier emerged that PDP was not going to give Atiku waiver as a presidential candidate.

Atiku may have to go into primaries with the present Chairman of the party, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi and former Jigawa governor Sule Lamido and governor of Ekiti state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.

Atiku, former Vice President to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, may not have a voting right during the party’s convention which will hold on Saturday to pick substantive executive members.

Meanwhile, some of the commissioners serving in Gov. Mohammed Bindow administration have vowed not to dump the APC administration in the state to join Atiku.

Mrs Lilian Steven, commissioner for Works, said after the state executive council meeting in Yola that all her colleagues would continue to support the incumbent governor to achieve his good vision for the state.

She denounced rumours making the round that some members of the state executive council have resigned to join Atiku in PDP.

Also speaking, Dr Umar Bindir, Secretary to the State government (SSG), said that the governor has no plans to sack any commissioner.

According to him, the ‘dream team” is very intact and is focused to move the state forward.

NAN reports that some of the commissioners perceived to be former vice president Atiku Abubakar were at the briefing.

Prominent among them was Fatima Abubakar, Commissioner for Health and the daughter of the former vice president.

Others were Umar Daware, Commissioner for Commerce, Yayaji Mijinyawa, Commissioner for Land and survey, who is the political god son to Atiku among other.

Meanwhile, 92 aspirants have signified intention to run for 23 offices in the national convention.

Some of the offices to be contested are national chairman, deputy national chairman (South), deputy national chairman (North), secretary, deputy national secretary, national legal adviser, deputy national legal adviser, national organising secretary, national youth leader, and national publicity secretary.

The Chairmanship aspirants are Uche Secondus, Gbenga Daniel, Jimi Agbaje, Rashidi Ladoja, Taoheed Adedoja, Tunde Adeniran, Olabode George, Raymond Dokpesi and Aderemi Olusegun. (NAN)

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