Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a presidential candidate for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has reacted to the election of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in Abuja on Saturday.
Mr Abubakar received 371 votes, with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State receiving 237 votes.
Tinubu also congratulated the other contestants for what he described as “the orderly and peaceful way they conducted themselves and for pledging to rally around the winner, in the true spirit of democratic sportsmanship,” in a message signed by his campaign’s director of media communication, Bayo Onanuga, on Sunday.
Tinubu stated that he expected Atiku, who is also the PDP’s presidential candidate for 2019, to be his worthy opponent in the upcoming 2023 presidential election, by the Grace of God and with the support of APC delegates.
Tinubu, who served as governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007, said Atiku’s victory was not unexpected given his enormous experience as a statesman and a veteran of numerous presidential elections dating back to 1993.
While welcoming the PDP candidate to the race, Tinubu stated that the upcoming election should focus on subjects that will improve Nigerians’ quality of life, promote peace, progress, and political stability, and address the country’s sociopolitical concerns and insecurity.
“I congratulate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on his win as the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the just concluded primaries. In the upcoming election, I am looking forward to facing him as a worthy opponent. I remember the former Vice President as a tough politician and a patriot who believes in our beautiful country’s unity and progress.
“As the election season progresses, I urge the PDP presidential candidate and all political actors, regardless of party affiliation, to make this election season one free of bitterness, rancour, and struggle.”
“Our campaigns should be peaceful and issue-based.” The election season should be a festival of ideas aimed at bettering our country and the lives of all of its citizens.
“Unfortunately for the PDP, its candidate will be forced to explain why Nigerians should give it another chance after wasting 16 years in power with little to show for it.”
“Nigerians have yet to forget the national disaster and mismanagement of our country by consecutive PDP administrations for the past 16 years, and this negative memory will haunt the PDP Candidate’s campaign.”
“Nonetheless, I congratulate our former Vice President on his victory in his party’s primary,” Mr. Onanuga said in a statement.