The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Iyiorchia Ayu has said that the former vice president Atiku Abubakar would have to work hard to gain support of the people.
Ayu, on Thursday, informed the party’s presidential hopeful that he would not be campaigning forhim during the 2023 election.
The chairman, while addressing members of the PDP’s national working committee and the campaign team of Atiku Abubakar, said that he is a friend of the former vice president but will not work for him as a presidential aspirant.
Ayu said that despite being friends with Atiku he would not campaign for him.
“Let me acknowledge the fact that you and I have been close friends personal friends for more than 30 years as it was indicated, we were key players in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and key players in the emergence of Chief MKO Abiola.
“So you are a presidential aspirant today. But I want people to know that you are still my friend. I can’t deny you I never deny my friends including those who are in the other disastrous party.”
“You know them because even there we have common friends who miss road, who normally should be here with us,” he said.
Ayu also said that since the PDP was formed, he has worked together with many leaders including Atiku in various capacities.
He recalled that he worked with Atiku to plot the emergence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and that the administration of the ex-leader did well by putting Nigeria on a healthy map economically, socially and politically.
“Again, I can’t deny the fact that we work together harmoniously, whether political issues or economic issues and on the National Security Council when I was Minister for internal affairs.
“I’m saying this to make it clear that those who say Oh, because of my personal relationship with you, as chairman, I’ll work for you.
“Mr Vice President, I will not work for you as an aspirant. I will work for all the 17 aspirants. It is left to you to convince the delegates of our party that you are the best.”
He therefore urged the former vice president to put in efforts to market himself to the people as he would not be a party to his campaign.
“This National Working Committee for now we remain an umpire. We are not going to take side with any particular aspirants. But we love you all.
“I’ve said repeatedly that each one of you given the opportunity will run this country better than what APC has done or will be able to do,” he added.