The Director of Strategic Communication, Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Chief Dele Momodu, tells DIRISU YAKUBU what a PDP-led government would do if elected among others.
How confident are you about Atiku Abubakar winning the presidential election?
I am always positive in whatever I do. I didn’t just accept to work with Atiku just because I wanted something to do. I accepted because I am convinced that he is the best candidate in the race. I have known him for about 30 years when he contested against MKO Abiola, Babagana Kingibe and others in Jos in 1993. When I supported Buhari in 2015, I wasn’t a member of the All Progressives Congress. When I supported Atiku/Obi ticket in 2019, I was not a member of the PDP. I support people based on my personal conviction and I am convinced that Atiku is the best candidate for Nigeria at this point in time. He has the structure needed to actualise his dream. It has taken him a long time to come this far but I believe he is a man whose time has come. There is no apprehension whatsoever. I am convinced of his victory. Contrary to what some people are saying, it is going to be a landslide for Atiku. This is because he is the only pan-Nigeria candidate in the race.
Which states do you see him winning?
For you to be a winner of the presidential election, you are expected to win four out of the six geopolitical zones and score 25 per cent in 24 states. Atiku will be the first to cross that line. There are 19 states in the North and 17 in the South. Atiku will have 25 per cent in all the 19 states in the North. He will only need five states in the South and he will get 25 per cent in the South-South, 25 per cent in the South-East and 25 per cent in the South-West. There is no other candidate who can achieve that. It is going to be difficult for any other candidate. Tinubu who is the nearest to Atiku does not have any state in the North. He may have one or two states where he can get 25 per cent in the South-East. That is the best he can go. In the South-West where he is supposed to be king, he is going to find it very difficult to control it absolutely. Three candidates will slug it out in Lagos and they are Tinubu, Atiku and Peter Obi. It will be split down the line. Tinubu will be lucky to get 30-35 per cent in Lagos for the first time.
In Ogun State, it will be Tinubu and Atiku because PDP is the oldest of the parties on the ballot. We will get our 25 per cent. In Oyo State, it could be 50-50 between Tinubu and Atiku. We will beat him in Osun State. There is no way we won’t have our 25 per cent in Ekiti State. We have always been strong in Ekiti State. We have always had a good show in Ondo State. When you look across Nigeria, the man to get 25 per cent in every state is Atiku.
What should Nigerians expect in an Atiku-led government
He (Atiku) is out for national unity because now, Nigeria is too divided. He has been around for long and he has been able to build bridges across Nigeria, which others are trying to build. Tinubu has always been a regional leader in the South-West and this is the first time he is going national. This race requires experience and exposure. Atiku has promised to set up a government of national unity. Politics can no longer be a winner takes all. He has put the machinery in place to restructure Nigeria, because it requires the national and state assemblies. He wants to decentralise power. The Federal Government today is too powerful and busy, getting involved in what it shouldn’t. The state police that we have been talking about will find expression in a restructured Nigeria. We copied our variant of democracy from the United States but when you travel from one state to the other in the US, you find that they have different laws governing those states. New York is different from Washington; Georgia is different from California and so on. We keep recycling madness and this is why we are not moving forward as we should.
What are his other plans for the people?
Atiku is passionate about education. In his private life, he has invested a lot in education from kindergarten to the highest level. He studied at Cambridge. He is deeply concerned about our agricultural potential and the sector’s capacity to produce abundant food to feed Nigeria and export to other countries of the world. Every other candidate can only come and experiment because they have never operated at that level. He has the requisite experience. Atiku also has a plan for the media industry, which is a critical stakeholder. He is the only one I know who met with the Nigerian Guild of Editors and it was an impressive meeting. They discussed a lot. He was there with the director-general of our campaign council, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, as well as the Chairman, Governor Udom Emmanuel. Liyel Imoke was there too. That shows you how serious Atiku takes the media. He has invested a lot in the sector.
Will he concede defeat in a free and fair contest?
He conceded in the past when he had to but this time, he has prepared very well. If you look at the former Presidents of Ghana, John Kufuor and Attah Mills and now Nana Akufo-Addo, they all tried three times. Our own President Muhammadu Buhari did it four times. George Weah of Liberia did it twice in a period spanning 12 years. Atiku’s story will be the sweetest and it will inspire the young ones that if you don’t give up on your dreams, you will make it.
Are you aware of moves by any G-5 governors to return to Atiku’s camp ahead of Saturday’s election?
I am not aware of any of the G-5 Governors approaching Atiku to work with him.