PDP debunks report of Atiku exclusion from presidential race

National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus (R), Atiku Abubakar and behind him Otunba Gbenga Daniel, DG, Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, at the declaration rally of Atiku for the 2019 presidential election, at Ribadu Square, Yola, Adamawa State, yesterday.

The People’s Democratic Party has said their presidential slot is open for all to contest.

The clarification came following media reports that the party had cleared Senate president Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State governor Aminu Tambuwal and Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso to contest for the post while Atiku Abubakar was excluded.

PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbodiyan said in a tweet that everyone was free to contest for any position in the party.

Tambuwal and Saraki, recently defected from the ruling All Progressive Congress to PDP, have not formally stated their intentions to run for presidency. However, sources claim they have plans to contest for the post.

It is unclear if Saraki will contest for the post after he was appointed as the National Leader of the party by the PDP National Executive Council.

Meanwhile, Senator Kwankwaso, who also recently returned to the PDP, has begun his bid for the presidency under PDP. He unsuccessfully contested for the presidency primaries under APC in 2015.

Former Vice president, Atiku formally declared his intention to run for the 2019 presidential elections in March, months after he defected from APC.

Atiku said he wanted to run because the nation has been regressing since the APC government took over.

“We all know what we have gone through in this country in the last three years.

“I can tell you throughout the whole of today that where the PDP left us in the last three years whether in the education sector, in the health sector, or in the economy, we have been going down in every statistics.

“That is why I have offered myself to run for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019,” he said.

Atiku openly celebrated the return of Saraki and Tambuwal to the party.

He contested for the PDP presidential primaries in 2011 but he lost to Goodluck Jonathan. He also lost in the primaries to Mohammadu Buhari in 2015 under APC.

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