Former Vice President and Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar reportedly met with former president Goodluck Jonathan over his plan to run for president in 2019.
According to Thisday, the meeting was part of the effort to lure Atiku back to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The PDP had reportedly for a while been making efforts to have Atiku return to the party, but the former vice president had given several conditions for his return, including that he be given an automatic ticket to represent the party at the 2019 presidential elections.
However, in a claim by a source, the meeting, called by Atiku, had Jonathan asking him to return early enough to fulfill certain provisions made by the PDP constitution. The source said:
Atiku was advised to return early to enable him to fulfill the eligibility condition in the party’s constitution and also have ample time to integrate his political structure into the PDP’s.
He was also reportedly advised that he stands a better chance with PDP, as APC has nothing left to offer him.
The source said:
He was told to note a recent comment by the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, stating that as the incumbent, President Buhari had a right of first refusal even when the decision would have to be his.
That has been buoyed by Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai who had practically launched Buhari’s re-election campaign.
Thisday also reports that members of PDP are willing to sit back and have Atiku run for president with the party’s ticket, including Ekiti State governor Ayo Fayose, who already has declared his intention to run.
Fayose would be willing to run with Atiku as vice president, Thisday reports.