Ben Obi had barely been formally named the campaign chief for former Vice President Atiku Abubakar before he aimed a few salvos in the direction of the man everyone loves to hate, Mr. Abubakar’s estranged former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo. Mr. Obasanjo, who was president when Mr. Abubakar served unhappily as his deputy, is little more than a jester, Mr. Obi said Monday at a news conference in Abuja, in response to Mr. Obasanjo’s stated reaction to news that his former deputy had emerged as the “consensus” candidate for the North.
Mr Obasanjo had last Thursday laughed off the selection of Mr. Abubakar while talking to reporters in Abuja. Asked to respond to the news, the former president had simply said, in pidgin, “I dey laugh.” “We look at him and said the man is always comical with his comments,” Mr Obi said. “We don’t need to engage him, we don’t intend to engage him in matters of that nature.” Mr Obi, a former senator, also dismissed suggestions that the former vice president will face challenges to his membership in the PDP, as indicated at the weekend by the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio. He described Mr Akpabio as a busybody who should not be taken seriously since he is neither the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nor its spokesman. “I am happy you refer to him (Akpabio) as Akwa Ibom State governor and not the chairman of the PDP. He does not double as the spokesman of the PDP. That is a busybody,” Mr Obi said. Mr Obi will run an Atiku campaign that has just absorbed the campaign organisations of his three other rivals, all from the political North, who have agreed to step down for him.
These were former military strongman Ibrahim Babangida, the former national security adviser Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, and the governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki. Mr. Obi said the Atiku campaign also has appointed several officials from the erswhile rival campaigns. These include Chris Mammah, who will serve as principal spokesman for the campaignand Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, who will run campaign operations.
Source: 234Next – www.234next.com