Buhari Group Asks Atiku to Drop Presidential Bid 

Muhammadu Buhari

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has urged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar to consider throwing in the towel in order to avoid a shattering defeat at the polls on February 16.

The Buhari group gave this advice in reaction to the defection of four top notchers of the PDP to All Progressives Congress (APC).

Among those listed to have defected to the APC were, former PDP National Chairman AdamuMuazu, former PDP Deputy Chairman Babayo Garba Gamawa and Bauchi State PDP Publicity Secretary, Yayanuwa Zainabari.

Describing the situation as “shocking and a big slap to the party ahead of the 2019 polls,” the BMO said the way and manner Atiku Abubakar, as well as his party PDP, is daily losing support from prominent members of the party to the opposition is absolutely unbecoming.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that even the party cannot deny that the loss of its Deputy Chairman Babayo Garba Gamawa, amongst others, to the All Progressives Congress (APC) is quite massive.

“We have nothing but sympathy for Atiku at this time that he has lost some of his trusted supporters who have abandoned him to team up with President Buhari.

“Nothing could be more demoralising than losing the number two man of your party with few days to what is almost certain to be his last attempt to clinch a seat that he had coveted since the 1990s.

“Babayo Gamawa is not only PDP’s deputy National Chairman but also a member of the party’s Presidential Campaign Council from the same North-east geo-political zone as the former Vice President.

Buhari’s media support group said that it may be ideal for the PDP candidate to pull out of the Presidential race to save himself from what is almost certain to be “a crushing defeat that would end up demystifying him as a political force”.

“If there is any defection that is bound to hit Atiku hard it is that of the former Bauchi governor whose election as the PDP chairman just before the 2015 election was a popular choice.

“Here is a man whose daughter is married to the former Vice President’s son but opted to ignore family ties to support President Buhari’s re-election bid because he clearly knows the difference between the two.

“If there are people who know Atiku well, Muazu certainly would be numbered among them and now that he has joined the governing party, there is no clearer message to undecided voters across the country that President Buhari is the better choice.

It said that with Muazu’s decision to dump PDP, it is safe to say that the little chance the PDP has to improve on the 86,085 votes it had in 2015 when APC polled 931,598 votes in one of the President’s traditional strongholds has virtually disappeared.”

While dismissing the insinuation that the PDP defectors were running to the APC to evade corruption charge, BMO said none of the politicians who may have joined the ruling party to escape the glare of anti graft agencies would be spared if found to have pending corruption cases.

This BMO said is in line with what President Buhari said in a recent interview with This Day’s Board of Editors that defection to the governing APC is not a blank amnesty from prosecution for anyone found to have breached public trust.