Atiku breaks silence, says ‘fight to become president nearly cost my life’, open to alliance with LP

Our reporter| The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the just-concluded presidential election, Atiku Abubakar on Thursday while rejecting the result of last Saturday’s election as declared by INEC, revealed that the quest to become Nigeria’s president almost cost his life.

The former vice president who made the revelation while speaking at a press conference in Abuja, said his move to enthrone and deepen democracy in Nigeria started even during the military era.

“It is with a heart full of sadness that I address you today. I have in the last three decades devoted my life to battle to birth and deepen democracy in our country, he said.

“It was a battle that started during the military era. It was a struggle that nearly cost me my life and that of my son where eight policemen were killed in the attempt to save our lives. I survived the assassination only by the mercy and the grace of God.

“That was not all, my businesses were nearly crippled. My commitment in the enthronement of democracy made me join forces with other compatriots.

“As a leader of the defunct Social Democratic Party, together with our current Chairman, we fought and won the 1993 presidential election which was acclaimed to be the freest election in our nation’s history. There was no internet then, yet it was the freest and fairest election”.

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PDP is open to forming an alliance with the Labour Party (LP)

Atiku further stated that the PDP is open to forming an alliance with the Labour Party (LP).

He admitted that the PDP lost a considerable number of votes to Peter Obi, the LP presidential candidate in Saturday’s election.

“It is a fact that he took our votes from the south-east and the south-south, that of course would not make him a president,” he said.

“You all know that to be a president in this country you all need votes from everywhere. So as far as I am concerned, Peter is welcome to dialogue with PDP, we are ready to dialogue with him.

“I don’t think we will have any problem if he wants to dialogue with PDP, either form an alliance or not.”

According to Atiku, Obi left the party and joined the LP after governors in the PDP insisted that someone among them must be the standard-bearer, and vice presidential candidate.

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He said instead of leaving the party, he “stood and fought the governors” and won the party’s presidential ticket.

“I think Peter was in a rush (to leave),” he said.

“Peter got scared and left. I did not get scared. I stood up against the governors.

“When we formed the PDP some of them (PDP governors) were perhaps in secondary schools or the university.

“So if he (Obi) was there, nothing could have stopped him from becoming a running mate because I had the right to choose whoever I wanted to choose as my running mate.”

On Wednesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tinubu as the winner of the election and also issued him a certificate of return.

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the INEC, said Tinubu secured 8,794,726 votes.

Abubakar had the second-highest figure with 6,984,520 votes, while Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) was next with 6,101,533 votes.

Both the PDP and LP have rejected the results and vowed to challenge the election in court.

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