Former Commissioner for Information in Edo state, Prince Kassim Afegbua has said Nigeria deserve a true leader to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari and not an absentee leader like Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking in an interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT, Afegbua who is a member of the Directorate of Media and Communication of the Tinubu-Shettima presidential campaign said he reluctantly accepted to work as one of the spokespersons for Atiku in the 2019 presidential election.
He said “When I supported Atiku in 2019, it was against my volition. I supported Tambuwal in the 2018 PDP presidential primary. When he didn’t emerge, I wanted to pull out but the party stakeholders said no”.
“They said all of us supporting Tambuwal should be put into the presidential campaign council. I never wanted to do that but I accepted so that they won’t label me as an idyllic person”.
“So went all out and campaigned vigorously for Atiku. Not a single telephone call from Atiku Abubakar to any of us who were his spokesmen. There was not even one meeting with us as spokespersons to sit down with him to tap his brain, dissect his persona based on his perception of issues.
“Few days after the election, he capitulated, abandoned the troops and fled to Dubai. A General who abandons his troops at a most critical period of time does not deserve to lead another troop when the opportunity presents itself”.
“I want a General that behaves like Zelensky, a comedian who has since become a serious-minded leader of his country in confronting the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. He said he was not going to run but will rather die in Ukraine than run away. That is how to know true leaders”.
” At any given opportunity, Atiku jets to Dubai. We don’t want an absentee president. We want a president that will understand our issues. We want a president like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu”.
Speaking further, Afegbua also dismissed claims that Atiku is a popular candidate who stands a huge chance of winning the 2023 presidential election.
“When people keep talking about Atiku having experience and he is popular. Where is the popularity? We had to shout on top of our voices in 2019 to get people to vote for him. Even in his state of Adamawa, he defeated Buhari with just 28,000 votes. In Borno, he got 70, 000 votes. Was he contesting for local government election? In Yobe, he got 50,000 votes. I’d that what is called popularity?”
“The total votes Atiku got in the 2019 presidential election, 70 percent of the votes was from the Middle Belt and Southern states. Go and check the records, what Atiku got in two South East states is more than what he got in the entire North- West states” .