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Atiku to formally declare presidential intention Wed, as Saraki, others seek consensus candidacy

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Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar will formally declare his intention to run for the office of the president on Wednesday, just as three aspirants under the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have agreed on consensus candidate for the ticket of the party.

In a statement from Atiku’s media office on Sunday, the former vice president said he will declare his intention to contest the 2023 presidency at the International Conference Centre, Abuja by 11am.

Also, a former senate president, Bukola Saraki said some of the main opposition party presidential asspirants from the north are ready for a consensus candidate.

The statement from the Atiku camp stated that; “After several months of consultations with stakeholders across the country and in the diaspora, as well as all organs of the Peoples Democratic Party, Nigeria’s former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, will officially declare his intent to run for the 2023 presidential election on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

“The event which will have Atiku Abubakar’s friends, associates, political leaders, party faithful, and supporters in attendance will take place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja at 11 am.

“His official declaration kickstarts the former Vice President’s participation in the race for the presidential ticket of the PDP ahead of the next year’s general election.”

A group known as Northeast Business Community had last week announced that it has paid for Atiku to secure the nomination form, which cost N5 million according to the party guidelines for interested person express interest in the presidential slot of the PDP.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Saraki and Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto, paid a consultative visit to Bala Mohammed, governor of Bauchi state.

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The three politicians are believed to be interested in clinching the PDP’s presidential ticket.

Speaking during the visit, Saraki said any of them is qualified to lead the country, adding that they have resolved to agree to a consensus arrangement to elect the party’s presidential flagbearer.

Saraki said they will also meet with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to brief him about their resolution.

“In doing so, we met and discussed that for 2023 ahead of us, the unity and stability of the country and the growth of the country is more important than individual ambitions,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“We also met to strive for the need for us to work together. We believe that the three of us are working together harmoniously, committed and with a lot of energy, there will be great hope for this country going ahead.

“We appreciate that the three of us have shown aspiration to lead this country, but we also come to realise that we are all capable, competent and fit to lead this country.

“At the end of the day, it is only one person that will lead this country in 2023; and we also resolved that we are going to work closely to ensure that we come out with a way that consensus arrangement would come among the three of us on how to go forward into leading this country.”

PDP is expected to hold its national convention on May 28 to elect a presidential candidate, while the governorship primaries will take place on May 21.

Ahead of the convention, the contentious issue is the zoning of the party’s presidential candidate amid the clamour for a southern flagbearer.

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