Former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, has fast tracked his political consultations to secure maximum support to run for his 2019 presidential ambition.
Atiku was in Minna on Tuesday, February 14, to consult with former head of state Ibrahim Babangida, in what officially was a visit to see the former head of state, who returned from a medical trip abroad.
But sources have told the New Telegraph that the visit was more than a get-well quick visit as Atiku used the occasion to discuss the state of the nation, IBB’s health, the health of President Muhammadu Buhari and the 2019 presidency in which Atiku has a strong interest.
Sources informed the newspaper that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was pressuring Atiku to run for president under the platform of the party in 2019
“You know, he (Atiku) has been under pressure, especially from the opposition to run for the presidency in 2019, a source, who did not want to be quoted because he does not speak for Atiku, said.
“The pressure is coming from the PDP and he has been consulting on that for some time. We know he might not get the ticket with the All Progressives Congress (APC) as currently constituted but the opposition has been asking him to run,” a source disclosed.
The source explained the former vice president who is currently a member of the APC, and has been silent on his ambition in 2019, is not satisfied with the performance of the APC administration .
“He cannot endorse the APC government currently. The performance has not been good. It is not something he would even want to say much on now,” said the source.
Another close source familiar with the matter said Atiku has been meeting with some northern leaders in his quest to win their sympathy in 2019.
Findings by the newspaper also revealed that Atiku has received requests from different groups, especially in the North, calling on him to run for the presidency in 2019.
Some of the requests were said to have been received in the past one year following the unconvincing performance of the APC government.
A top PDP leader, who is a former senator and minister, said Atiku would return to the PDP and pick the ticket of the party in 2019.
The leader said though former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has been an obstacle to Atiku in the past, the battle for 2019 would end that.
“Do you think the battle for the control of the PDP is for nothing? It is a battle of forces and it has to do with the control of the soul of the party, going into 2019.
Most of the people are struggling for fronts and I can assure you one of the most powerful fronts remains Atiku,” he said.
Recall that Atiku served as a vice president for two terms under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
He has previously ran for the presidential election in 2007 on the platform of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and contested for the PDP and APC ticket in 2011 and 2015, respectively.