Barely few hours after his emergence as the PDP flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election at the PDP National Convention held in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubarkar got a surprise phone call from former Senate Minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who apparently called to congratulate Atiku on his success at the PDP presidential primary.
Akpabio and Atiku were allies before the former Akwa Ibom State Governor defected to the APC in August. Akpabio it was, who led Atiku’s campaign team to Akwa Ibom state when the former Vice President visited the state to consult the party ahead of the party’s national convention.
Unconfirmed reports has it that Akpabio was pencilled down to be Atiku’s running mate before he dumped the PDP for the APC, following pressure from the presidency and the EFCC.
Sources close to the Atiku Campaign Organisation told our reporter than less than two hours after the convention ended, Akpabio made frantic efforts to reach out to Atiku but the Turaki Adamawa ignored his phone calls.
“Akpabio may be regretting his decision of defecting to the APC but it is too late. His Excellency, Atiku had much faith in him and even pencilled him down to be his Vice Presidential candidate for 2019 but Akpabio betrayed us so what is he calling Atiku for. Let him remain where he is. We have many other qualified Nigerians to pick as running mate”, said a kitchen member of the Atiku Campaign Organisation.
The former Governor according to reports is no longer at ease with the emergence of Atiku as the PDP presidential candidate for the 2019 general elections and has started making frantic moves to “reconcile” with Atiku. He is making frantic efforts to reach out to known Atiku’s allies in Abuja and some of Atiku’s loyalists in the Senate to help broker a “peace and reconciliation” meeting between him and Atiku.
“He may reconcile. That’s all what politics is all about. He may even defect back to PDP after the election but we can’t just trust him again. He would have made a good VP but he has lost that opportunity”, a source within the Atiku campaign team said.
By Ikennna Ekezie, Port Harcourt