Presidential hopeful of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has reacted to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerging the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in a primary election conducted in Abuja on Saturday.
Mr Abubakar got 371 votes with his closest rival Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who got 237.
In a message signed by the director of media communication of his campaign organisation Bayo Onanuga on Sunday, Tinubu also congratulated the other contestants for what he described as “the orderly and peaceful way they conducted themselves and for pledging to rally round the winner, in the true spirit of democratic sportsmanship.”
Tinubu said he expected Atiku, who was also the 2019 presidential candidate of the PDP, to be his worthy opponent, by the Grace of God and the support of APC delegates, in the coming 2023 presidential election.
Tinubu, who was governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007, said Atiku’s victory didn’t come as a surprise to Nigerians because of his vast experience as a statesman and veteran of many presidential contests from 1993.
While welcoming the PDP candidate to the race, Tinubu added that the coming election should be about issues that will improve the quality of life of Nigerians; bring peace, progress, political stability and solve myriad of sociopolitical challenges and insecurity currently facing the country.
“I welcome the victory of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the just concluded primary. I look forward to squaring up with him as a worthy opponent in the coming election. I have known the former Vice President as a formidable politician and a patriot who believes in the unity and progress of our dear country.
“ As we move further into the election season, I charge the PDP presidential candidate and all political actors across Party lines that we should make this election season one that is devoid of bitterness, rancour and strife.
“We should make our campaigns peaceful and issue-based. Election season should be a festival of ideas that will uplift our country and improve the living condition of all our people.
“Unfortunately for the PDP, its candidate will be burdened to explain why Nigerians should give it another opportunity, after squandering 16 years at the central government, without much to show”.
“Nigerians are yet to forget the national ruin and mismanagement of our country for 16 years by successive PDP administration and this bad memory will dog the campaign of the PDP Candidate”
“Nevertheless, I once again congratulate our former Vice President for his victory in his party’s primary,” the statement by Mr. Onanuga said.