Atiku Abubakar

I’ll keep contesting for president as long as I’m alive and healthy, says Atiku

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential elections, has reiterated his commitment to contesting for Nigeria’s oval seat till his health allows him.

The former Vice-President also stated that he was inspired by the story of former American President Abraham Lincoln, who contested many times before he could become the occupant of the White House.

“Of course, I will keep contesting again and again as long as I am alive and healthy,” Atiku said during an interview on the Hausa service of the Voice of America in Abuja.

The 77-year-old was the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate during the 2019 and 2023 presidential elections, where he lost to former President Muhammadu Buhari and incumbent President Bola Tinubu in 2019 and 2023, respectively.

Atiku, who served as vice president to former president Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, will be 81 during the next presidential election in 2027.

Despite the age factor, the former vice president said he would “keep contesting” for the number one seat till his health permits.

“Even the former US President Abraham Lincoln contested seven times before finally winning,” he said.

“However, given the current state of the PDP, it is clear that a single-handed effort will not suffice to win the election. Strong support and collaboration with other parties are required.”

Meanwhile, Atiku recently said that if, in 2027, his party decides it is the South East’s turn and selects Peter Obi as its candidate, he will readily offer his support.

“I have said repeatedly, and I even said it before the 2023 general elections, that if the PDP decides to zone the presidential ticket to the South or South-East specifically, I won’t contest it. As long as it’s the decision of the party, I will abide by it. But I contested the 2023 presidential ticket because it was thrown open to all members of the party.

“If the party decides that it’s the turn of the South-East and Peter Obi is chosen, I won’t hesitate to support him,” Atiku declared in a recent interview with BBC Hausa Service.

Answering to questions about the meeting with the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, Atiku said, “It’s just a normal friendly meeting that we often have, particularly among us in the opposition parties. Such meetings are healthy for Nigeria’s democracy and in the country’s interest.”

On whether this will bring about a merger, he said, “Yes, it’s very much possible. We can merge to achieve a common goal. So, it’s possible, and nothing can stop it if we wish to achieve that.”

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