Presence of APC Governors at Buhari’s Declaration Rattles Atiku
One of the presidential aspirants and former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, might have been rattled by the presence of APC governors at the formal declaration rally of former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari to contest the 2015 presidential election.
But a source at the Atiku media office has said Atiku’s campaign team explained that the reason more leaders of the APC attended the Buhari declaration rally in comparison to the former vice-president’s, was because they were not invited so as not to compromise their neutrality
Buhari, Wednesday declared his intention to a tumultuous crowd at the Eagle Square in Abuja and some big shots in the All Progressives Congress (APC), in attendance.
Some of the leaders of APC who were at the event included Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, Edo State Governor Adams Oshiohmole, Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura, and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Bello Masari.
Others were the National Vice-Chairman of APC (North-east), B.D Lawal, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Ahmed Yerima, Senator Abba Buka Ibrahim, Silva, Muoghalu, Sharon Ikeazor, Alhaji Mustapha Habib, Osita Okechukwu, Hajia Hadiza Usman of Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG), Tony Momoh, Prof. Tamuno David-West, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, Oluwatayo Oluwa and Rotimi Akeredolu.
Security men and party officials had a hectic time controlling the enthusiastic and near-fanatical youths who took over the entry points to the covered stands, waving and displaying campaign banners. The ecstatic supporters drummed and danced around the arena endlessly till the end of the programme.
Reacting to the calibre of personalities that graced Buhari’s declaration, a source in the Atiku media office said the former vice-president viewed the presence of some governors of APC as something that may endanger their neutrality before the presidential primary
The source said Atiku had deliberately avoided extending invitations to the leaders of APC and the party’s governors “because he didn’t want to compromise their neutrality”.
He explained that since the party’s national leaders and the governors did not endorse any presidential aspirant, Atiku had no need to invite them to his declaration, which might send the wrong message.
Elaborating further, the source said since the party’s national leadership made it clear that they would create a level playing field for all presidential aspirants of the party, inviting any of them to Atiku’s declaration could have led to the perception that they had endorsed him.
To avoid that controversy, the source said Atiku chose to make his declaration essentially a youth event, because they are the main victims of poverty and unemployment, critical agents of change and the focus of his agenda on job creation.
Another reason the source gave was that Atiku did not want to turn the event into a campaign rally as opposed to a symbolic declaration of intent to seek the country’s presidency in 2015.
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