By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a pressure group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action 2023, has cautioned the opposition party against fielding former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and other aspirants in their 70s.
Instead, the group urged PDP to beam its search light at aspirants in their 50s.
The group in a statement, Thursday, by its national chairman, Hon (Dr) Rufus Omeire in reaction to the views expressed by Mr Segun Sowunmi former spokesperson to former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, noted that apart from Atiku, who is 75, others mostly in their 50s, include Sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, former Presidents of the Senate , Dr Bukola Saraki and Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, who could be primed for the top job.
“Apart from Atiku who is 75, others are mostly in their 50s. Is Sowunmi saying that only those in their 70s are preferred presidential candidates rather than the relatively younger ones he described as kindergarten candidates?” the group queried.
The group said, “With respect to relevant experience for the top job, let us x-ray the candidates. Atiku Abubakar’s public sector experience consists of Deputy Director of Customs, a subordinate position. He never became Chief Executive of Customs and Excise Department.
“The buck never, for one day, stopped on his table in the Customs Service.
“He became Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a highly exalted office, but he was never a chief Executive. He only carried out instructions of his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo. So wherein lies the famed experience of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar?
“He clearly doesn’t have the requisite public Sector experience. Does he have private sector experience? Atiku is not Dangote, Otedola or Jim Ovia or Tony Elumelu or Mike Adenuga.
“Talking about experience on the job, maybe Sowunmi should have also talked about his boss’ attitude on abandoning ship mid sea, the way he did to PDP after the 2019 presidential election, in which the PDP invested its ticket and hopes in him which he wasted partly because of the argument of experience and inevitability.”