Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has claimed that he has 11 million votes locked in his name ahead of the 2023 election.
The former Vice President said this while addressing members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in Abuja on Thursday, April 28, 2022.
Atiku boasted that he remains the best aspirant to deliver victory for the PDP, adding that he deserved to be accorded the right of first refusal for its presidential primaries, Daily Trust reports.
He therefore, asked the NWC to consider him as the party’s presidential flag bearer because he has a head start of 11 million votes in the general election.
Atiku said, “I am the best candidate. Under normal circumstances Mr. Chairman, this is a guy who already has 11 million votes in his kitty. And I think, as a party, you should give me the right of first refusal but we are in a democracy.
“All I can urge you is to make sure that the way you have started, you also conclude by being very fair, very credible, giving every contestant the opportunity to face the electorate.”
He praised the NWC for the excellent way it has handled the affairs of the party and promised Nigerians to look forward to the replication of such leadership style from the PDP.
He argued that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has failed Nigerians and urged his party to propagate its achievements to show that they’re the best option.
“we all know that the APC has failed but we should not take Nigerians for granted. We should go all out to let them know APC has failed and PDP has not failed on our comparative analysis. If you compare the achievements of PDP and the failure of APC, you know that you have no other choice than PDP,” Atiku said.
Atiku, who also spoke on his plans for the country, vowed to devolve more powers to the states, “because I believe that is the best way to get Nigeria developed to its fullest capacity by giving autonomy and resources to the various components.”
The former Vice President also touched on security and economic issues while recounting his experience during a visit to Niger state where, “The governor told me, we have about twelve local governments, which are under the control of bandits. We don’t know how to conduct elections in those local governments.
“And I went to the President, I said, Mr. President, we need more policemen and the President said how can I give you more policemen when the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission are in court on who will recruit policemen.
“I cannot be that kind of President. We cannot recruit policemen because the two agencies are in court and we have a president who cannot bring under control his own heads of departments, not even ministers.”
Atiku is contesting the PDP ticket with several other aspirants which include the former Presidents of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim and Bukola Saraki; Governors of Bauchi, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Sokoto states, Bala Mohammed, Emmanuel Udom, Nyesom Wike, and Aminu Tambuwal respectively.
Others are former governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, Dele Momodu and Mohammed Hayatu-Deen.