By Amuda Dan Sulaiman Fab
“Elders Forum for Atiku 2023’’ a political support group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protested at the Abuja residence of Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday.
The Elders during the protest insisted that Atiku must revisit the composition of the Presidential Campaign Council.
The Elders Forum’s protest is an addition to the troubles of Atiku and PDP who are still battling with the demands of Governor Nyesom Wike’s camp.
However, the major demand of the Elders Forum was for Chief Raymond Dokpesi to be made the Director-General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCO) 2023.
Some of the inscriptions on the banners carried by the forum during the protest were “we want Dokpesi to remain the champion of the presidential campaign’’, “activate the presidential campaign without delay’’, “allow the D-Gs to choose their Deputy Directors’’.
The Elders Forum stated that this became necessary to avoid the mistake made in 2019 when the Director-General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Gbenga Daniel, defected to another party.
The Forum also read out a letter to Atiku titled “Protest against the composition of directors in the national campaign management committee.’’
The letter was signed by its National Coordinator, Pa Lawrence Okojie, and the National Secretary, Mr A.K Peters.
The letter reads in part: “We, the Elders Forum for Atiku 2023 write to protest the composition of the Directors and Deputy Directors at the NCMC.
“We strongly believe that proper considerations were not taken in arriving at these appointments as not all the Deputy Directors-General are duly committed to the matter.
“We believe that competence, loyalty, sincerity, experience, and resilience in the struggle should be the essential ingredients that should have been considered in the selection of directors and deputy directors of the NCMC.
“We therefore strongly request that His Excellency should revisit these developments and do the needful to spare us a “Gbenga Daniel Part 2’’ in this 2023 presidential run.”
The elders advised Abubakar to ensure that a person of repute such as Chief Raymond Dokpesi is appointed the Director-General of Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCO) 2023.
The elders said they believe in the capacity of Dokpesi to mobilize and work with everyone for the success of the PDP at the 2023 general elections.
“It is on record that from national sensitization to the success at the presidential primary, the galvanizing role of Dokpesi as leader of the Presidential Technical Committee cannot be undermined moving forward,’’ the elders added.
Okojie, who led members of the forum in a protest to submit the letter at the Abuja residence of Abubakar on Wednesday, told newsmen that the PDP needed Dokpesi to coordinate the affairs of APCO.
He said that even before anyone identified with the Abubakar presidential ambition, Dokpesi took it upon himself to mobilize support for the candidate and carried everyone along.
Okojie said that the forum with its coordinators in all 36 states and members across the grassroots was ready to work in all the polling units for the success of Abubakar.
The National Women Leader of the forum, Deborah Makinwa, also said they needed Dokpesi to continue where he stopped.
Makinwa who said that she had been supporting Abubakar from the beginning till now, urged him to also employ more women in his campaign council.