Presidency: Atiku Appeals To Kwankwaso To Step Down Bid

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has met his New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) counterpart, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, in his (Kwankwaso) Abuja home ahead of the forthcoming general elections. Sources close to Kwankwaso the immediate past governor of Kano State told our correspondent on Friday that the meeting which was held behind closed doors on Thursday night was an exploratory one that came at the instance of the former vice president.

One of the sources privy to the meeting confirmed the development to Saturday Telegraph in a telephone chat, saying “Yes, I can confirm to you that a meeting took place on Thursday night between Madugu (Kwakwanso) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.” According to the source who pleaded not to be mentioned since he is not authorised to divulge the information, the meeting was an “exploratory one at the instance of the Wazirin Adamawa (Atiku) who feels the emergence of Madugu is hurtful to his bid.” The source further commented that the former number two man in the country undertook the visit because of the mass appeal of Kwankwaso which Atiku feels would undermine his political base in the North, particularly in the North West.

“You know that Alhaji Atiku is not a small player in the business of politics, he and his handlers have reasoned that the rising popularity of Kwankwaso in the North, particularly among the peasants has become a source of worry for Atiku considering the fact that his traditional base of the South East has opted to pitch their tent with their son, Mr. Peter Obi, of the Labour party. Asked to comment on the response of the former federal lawmaker to Atiku’s proposal, the source added that Kwankwaso refrained from giving the Adamawa-born politician a categorical answer.

“From all indications, Madugu might seek to go all out considering the fact that his (Kwankwaso’s) party seems to be enjoying mass appeal among our people in the North, and with the way things are at the moment, Madugu is expected to catch up with the former vice president in the nine months that elections are scheduled to hold. When contacted, Spokesman for the former Vice President, Mr. Paul Ibeh, didn’t confirm that such a meeting took place but added that his principal has been meeting with stakeholders in the Nigerian project “who can help in the exit of the current leadership in the country.” According to him, Atiku met with the forum of former PDP’s governors under the chairmanship of Dr. Babangida Aliyu, on Thursday and could not say whether the former Vice President met with Kwankwaso too.

“I am not aware of such a meeting but what I can only confirm to you is that there was a meeting of the former PDP Governors’ Forum yesterday at Legacy House at the instance of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and it was a well-attended meeting,” he said.

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