The Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Walid Jibrin, has declared that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar would not be granted automatic ticket to contest the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the party.
According to him, the former Vice-President is free to dump the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and return to the PDP but he should be prepared to struggle for the party’s presidential ticket with other aspirants.
He added that the party was ready for Atiku’s return as being speculated and would warmly accept him and his supporters back to the PDP fold.
Jibrin, speaking to journalists in Kaduna, argued that with the treatment being meted out to Atiku by the APC, he (Atiku) had no option than to join the PDP ahead of 2019.
“We are ready to accept him to our party but he should be ready to work for a waiver,” he said.
“The North met in Abuja to say that any candidate from the North can contest. Let us get them. I think they are getting set now.
“For now, we have a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido; a former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, and so on preparing to vie for the PDP presidential ticket.
“If the PDP grants Atiku a waiver, he should then join the cream of presidential aspirants in the party to fight for the ticket in 2019.
“If the PDP considers Atiku for the automatic presidential ticket, what about those in the party who are showing interest? Should we throw them away? If he is coming, he should come as an equal partner.
“We are ready to accept him. But, he must follow the rules of the game. First, he must undergo primaries like any other person, and he must fight for the presidential ticket.”
THEWILL gathered from sources close to Atiku that the former Vice-President would be returning to the PDP in December. (THEWILL)