Atiku abandoned his supporters after 2019 elections, says Afegbua

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Kassim Afegbua, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, abandoned his supporters after the 2019 elections.Afegbua was the spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign organisation during the 2019 elections.

On Sunday, the PDP chieftain had said Atiku should not make himself a “perpetual candidate” for the presidency, adding that the southern region of the country must produce the next president.On Tuesday, Afegbua and Segun Showunmi, a PDP chieftain and loyalist to Atiku, were interviewed on Politics Today, a programme on Channels Television.

While speaking on what happened after the 2019 elections, Afegbua said the former vice-president left his campaign team in Nigeria and relocated to Dubai instead of re-strategising.“The point is that in 2023, I don’t want alhaji Atiku Abubakar to be a professional aspirant or a perpetual candidate in every election,” he said.“He contested in 2011 with one party; he left. When he was vice-president, he also ran under another party. He was in APC; he left APC. We are both in the PDP,” he said.

He contested in 2019; that was the best outing. He put up a good effort and we lost the election.He left us in the lurch right here in Nigeria and relocated to Dubai for two and a half years.

“No general will take his own troops to the warfront and after the war, when the dust of war has not simmered, you abandon your troops. You are supposed to take your troops back to the barracks and reposition, but he did not do that.”

‘ATIKU LEFT TO ACQUIRE NEW KNOWLEDGE’

Responding to Afegbua’s comment, Showunmi said Atiku travelled to Dubai to acquire new knowledge, adding that the former vice-president could not have stayed in Nigeria doing nothing.“It is the height of political immaturity, meddlesomeness and irresponsibility to imagine that you are going to be in politics for four years round the clock doing nothing else — don’t go to school; don’t get a job; don’t do anything; just sit on the same spot and be destabilising the country,” he said.

“Everybody should not be a professional politician without any other thing to do with his time.“A democratic leader understands that election ends once it ends. To stay in the country energising young people, to torpedo the country, is not the way of someone who loves the country.

“A general has to understand when the war is won and lost. He went to Dubai; he got another degree — new knowledge.”

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