Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has claimed that he is yet to make up his mind about contesting in the 2019 presidential elections.
Atiku stated this while speaking on VOA Hausa on Tuesday.
“For now I have not made up my mind,” Mr. Abubakar said. “When I decide, I will let the world know.”
Mr. Abubakar’s statement is capable of demoralising his supporters, some of whom have already commenced groundwork for his 2019 bid, said Azibola Omekwe, the national coordinator of The Atiku Rennaisance, a political group.
Mr. Azibola said the 2019 ambition of Mr. Atiku has gained considerable momentum in recent weeks, a ‘moving train’ he said would be difficult to reverse.
“Just recently, some people came out to say that they will sue the former vice-president if he fails to join the race,” Mr. Azibola said. “That’s how serious some of his supporters have now taken his ambition.”
Mr. Abubakar’s spokesperson, Paul Ibe, said the politician’s fans should not be demoralised by the comments.
“He spoke in the context of his ongoing consultations, but he’ll eventually make up his mind to run,” Mr. Ibe said. “Those who have started politicking on his behalf should continue.”
Mr. Azibola acknowledged that the final decision on Mr. Atiku’s political choice in 2019 would be the former vice-president’s to make.
“I’m sure he will ultimately decide to run because he’s the best option to beat President Buhari,” said Mr. Azibola, a former state legislator in Bayelsa. “We expect him to do this within the first quarter of 2018.”
The last one month had seen Mr. Abubakar resign from the ruling All Progressives Congress to return to the Peoples Democratic Party, under which he served eight years as VP between 1999-2007.