2019: Atiku Is PDP’s Best Bet – Asari Dokubo

John Ogunsemore
6 Min Read

Former militant leader, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo has called on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to support the presidential candidature of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 election.

He urged the party to pick a strong presidential candidate or risk losing the polls.

He equally addressed accusations that former President Jonathan was soft, saying he (Asari-Dokubo) would not have lost the presidential election the way Jonathan did.

Asari-Dokubo made these known in an interview with The Sun in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Friday.

Speaking on the believe that Jonathan was soft, he said, “Jonathan as far as Ijaw people were concerned did not rule firmly. Apart from that, Goodluck Jonathan, Gowon and maybe Shagari might pass off as the best that happened to Nigeria. Theirs was a time Nigerians have justice. Nobody was afraid of the government. Goodluck Jonathan brought laws that aided democracy. There was the Freedom of Information Act, Human Rights Commission. He set up institutions and polices like the TSA, BVN, Card Reader, preparing the ground for an all inclusive democratic system. So, is this why he threw the presidency away? Bolaji that is talking and writing, look at what his principal, Saraki is being subjected to. I know Bolaji well; he was a Minister under Jonathan. He had free hand and was enjoying. Do the present Ministers have the same free hand enjoyed under Jonathan? Government officials, Ministers and Governors are openly complaining that they cannot access Mr Buhari. Goodluck Jonathan was too soft for them; if that is what they mean by saying he threw the presidency away, yes, I will agree. People take advantage of people who are not ready to shed the blood of others. That is the truth, which was why he lost. If it had been someone like me, I would never have lost, because I know how to use power to treat these irritants.”

Speaking on chances of the PDP in the election, he said, “Yes, the PDP is not ready for a fight. If the PDP is ready for a fight, there won’t be talks of Tambuwal candidature, someone who is a governor in APC. He destroyed PDP and ran to APC. They are talking of Tambuwal, who knows him in Bayelsa? PDP governors are lobbying a character like that to join the PDP and contest for the presidential ticket. They are talking of Makarfi, a man who could not win Senate election; a man who during the 2015 presidential election allegedly voted for Buhari and showed his ballot paper to the people before putting it in the box. Such a man is the one some PDP people are lobbying to get on the presidential ticket.

“Sule Lamido is not different from Buhari. He is one of these arrogant Fulani people who feel they own this country and the rest of us are just like appendages.

Yes, I was in the SDP with Atiku Abubakar. He is the most liberal of all the people coming from the North. He has his own baggage. Let us look at other people. What are people like David Mark doing that they can’t contest? Is it that they are not courageous enough to come and fight? So everybody in the North would abdicate to the Fulani. Other Northerners are even afraid to take their liberty even when we have told them that we have taken our liberty and they should take theirs.”

Asari-Dokubo dismissed Ekiti State Governor, Ago Fayose’s presidential ambition, saying his support base was not strong enough to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “Yes, he (Fayose) has signified his intention but it is not going to fly. Who is going to run Fayose’s election for him? Whose money is going to be used? The South West does not vote heavily. The percentage of voters is low. Ekiti state where Fayose is governor has one of the lowest voting population. The other voters in South West are in the hands of the APC. For me, David Mark would have been the very best for PDP to galvanise the swing nationalities; those people outside Hausa, Fulani and Yoruba and bring them together to join with the Igbo and some other liberal Yoruba people. But if David Mark is not there, among the Fulani if the PDP insists on having a Fulani to become its presidential candidate, Atiku is their best bet. We also have Ibrahim Shekarau, a very honest and cerebral man. But does he have resources because election demands resources. At the end of the day, a lot of people do not know Shekarau in the South. Atiku already has platforms across Nigeria and whatever it is he can fight more. Aside that, he has also talked about restructuring and as an Ijaw man, we want to engage him, what he means by restructuring. If PDP is looking for somebody with a war chest to fight and that would attract a lot of people from the APC, it is Atiku.”

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I'm a University of Lagos-trained journalist. I've read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. I'm an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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