Chief Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, has made a damning claim about Atiku Abubakar.
He said he is shocked by a recent statement of Atiku, the presidential candidate of the party.
Atiku on Wednesday said the removal of the party’s national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu from office must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal.
There has been pressure on Ayu to resign from office since Atiku emerged as the presidential candidate of the party. Some party chieftains from Southern Nigeria have argued that since Atiku and Ayu are northerners, the latter should resign from office and allow a southerner to take over, in the spirit of fairness.
George while speaking during an interview on Channels TV on Wednesday, said, Ayu had stated himself publicly that if a northerner emerged as the presidential candidate of the party, he would resign.
He also noted there is no guarantee that Atiku can unify the country because he is yet to unify the PDP amid its crisis.
“Our candidate has this onus; he says he's a unifier. If he cannot unify our party at this small level, what is the guarantee that when he gets there, he will be ready to unify this country?" he asked.
He continued, "Politics is not about ‘I'm the only one’, you listen and the party interest supersedes all other private and personal interest. I'm shocked that this will come out as a statement, the opposition will use it.
“The only good that I will tell you is not one dissenting voice raised an alarm that they were quitting the PDP, we will work for all those who have picked up tickets.
“We are not leaving this party but at the same time justice, fairness and equity, the tripod of the party, we will maintain it and if we don't maintain it, the platform will start wobbling and whatever will be the outcome, the future generations and historians will know who to blame.
“We are talking of inclusivity; that our founding fathers found a system that will incorporate all tribes of Nigeria and you're telling us, you're now bringing some legal issues that you will have to do this, really? I can't believe this. What am I hearing?
“We are not talking about removing him or forcing him, he himself, Iyorchia Ayu stated pointedly that peradventure if the presidential candidate emerges from the north, he said it publicly that he will resign so why is he sticking to the point?
“Chairmanship has been zoned to the north; it means the presidential candidate must come from the opposite zone which is the south. Now that you took up the ticket, Ayu himself stated completely that once a presidential candidate emerges from the north, he will be too happy to resign so why are we now playing some games?"
George, therefore, advised Atiku to be a humble leader and take the south seriously because it is the will of the people that will get votes for him and not his few friends from the south.
"For you to tell us that it doesn't matter, the south doesn't matter you have some friends in the south. If that is your attitude in managing this country, does that make sense? A leader must be humble and must respect the will of the people because it is the vote of the people that will get you into the Villa.
“If you are a member of an association and one group decides that he doesn't need you, then let him go and win,” he said.