The presidential aspirations of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, to lead Nigeria from 2023, has divided the nation’s political and military leaders.
They are people considered to be the traditional kingmakers in the country. they include former Heads of State, top security Chiefs and some prominent Traditional Rulers. Some of the known faces of the kingmakers include former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Heads of state, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar; Gen. Theophilus Danjuma(rtd), the Sultan of Sokoto and Gen Aliyu Gusau(rtd).
It was gathered that while Obasanjo prefers Obi, others prefer Atiku for his experience and reach across the country. It was also learnt that many of the powerful kingmakers believe that Obi is a candidate for the future.
Atiku is contesting on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while Obi is in Labour Party (LP).
Before he joined LP last May, Obi was one of the presidential aspirants of PDP.
A source, who volunteered information, told Sunday Telegraph that apart from former Obasanjo, every other political and military leader is in support of the former Atiku’s aspiration.
Said the source: “Obasanjo is with Obi but every other person that matters is supporting Atiku, including (General Aliyu) Gusau, IBB and Sultan of Sokoto.”
He, however, expressed confidence that Atiku would win next year’s presidential election, despite the threat by Obi.
According to him, the LP presidential candidate poses a threat to Atiku because he was coming from PDP bloc.
“But Obi cannot win. He narrowed down his campaign only to Christian bloc. He has not penetrated the Muslim faith.
“His vice presidential candidate is colourless. Imagine if he has chosen the former CBN governor (Lamido) Sanusi. He would been able to penetrate the Muslim in the North.
“His campaign DG, Doyin Okupe, is a Christian. If he had been a Muslim from the South West, he would have made the difference,” he stated.
He did not see the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as a threat because of his Muslim-Muslim ticket.
“We have embarked on inter-faith dialogue. Christians are with us because the vice presidential candidate (Ifeanyi) Okowa is a Christian,” he added.
The source further disclosed that PDP is likely to inaugurate its national campaign council this week, arguing that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike could not continue to hold the party down.
“The campaign is going to be segmented. There is going to be committees at state and local government levels. Everybody will be involved,” he added.