Wednesday, 21 June 2017

2019: Atiku Revs Up Machinery, Shun TInubu's Block, Pallies Afenifere Leaders, Ex-Yoruba Govs; Erects Other Leg In PDP Faction

2019: Atiku Revs Up Machinery, Shun TInubu's Block, Pallies Afenifere Leaders, Ex-Yoruba Govs; Erects Other Leg In PDP Faction

Atiku Tinubu and Makrfi

Owing to the uncertainties surrounding Buhari and Osinbajo in the race, a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has opted to shun the Bola Tinubu-led South-West block of the APC, preferring rather to court the leadership of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, and some former governors in the South-West, who he believes would be able to work for him when the real battle starts.

It was gathered according to New Telegraph that those who have been contacted by Atiku towards his project include Afenifere leaders, former Governors Gbenga Daniel, Rashidi Ladoja and Adebayo Alao-Akala, among others.

It was gathered that Atiku believes that he does not have much problem in the South-East and South-South zones if he picks the ticket of any party.

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A source close to the former Vice President revealed to our source that the decision to side-step Tinubu and the South-West block of the APC now was based on the feeling that should Buhari not run in 2019, Tinubu might be a major deciding factor in the selection of the candidate of the APC.

Although Atiku has not foreclosed eventually working with the group, “he is not banking on their support because Osinbajo might be thrown into the mix.”

The source said: “By our calculation, if Buhari is not running, Osinbajo might want to give it a try. We are not sure he will run, but definitely, the South-West block of the party, where he comes from, has a commanding influence and might decide what would happen.

We believe it may not be in our favour based on past history. So, we are looking at new alliances in the zone.”

It was further learnt that Atiku is keeping his cards close to his chest, considering different options that may be available to him.

One of such options could be picking the ticket of the PDP if the Ahmed Makarfi faction wins at the Supreme Court. Although Atiku has maintained overtime that he remained an APC member, it was learnt that the Makarfi group are putting pressure on him to return to the PDP if the Supreme Court rules in their favour.

Another source in Atiku’s camp said: “There are many options. There are many offers, but you know Turaki is in the APC. But you also know politicians.

The decision of the Supreme Court either way could change a lot of things with the PDP. If that ruling comes soon, then the field might be opened wider than it is now. But different groups have approached Turaki. That is for sure.”

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It was learnt that Atiku is also considering picking his Vice President from the South-East. “It would be a surprise if he didn’t pick his running mate from the South-East.

He has a good working relationship with the zone and the South-South. You know with the APC, the likelihood is a North/South-West ticket. So, the deciding factor would be the South-East and South-South,” said a source.

But Atiku also fears that should the ruling favour Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and his camp, the PDP might not be an option.

That is premised on the feeling that even Sheriff has presidential ambition.

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