Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says he is sure of defeating President Muhammadu Buhari “this time”, in reference to the 2019 presidential election.
Atiku was quoted as saying this in an interview with Dele Momodu on The Boss newspaper.
He accused the president of “wasting” a lot of goodwill since assuming office.
Atiku said many Nigerians are unhappy with the current administration, adding that he is ready to challenge the president in the next election.
“I will definitely beat him this time (2019). He has wasted a lot of his massive goodwill,” he was quoted as saying.
“A lot of people are disgruntled but keeping quiet and lying low. Our youths are suffering terribly and now they are being sold into slavery.
“Everyone knows my track record of inviting and attracting a good team and giving them the opportunity to work professionally. Nigerians are tired of leaders who cannot think big and work big.”
Atiku, who was part of the brains behind the coalition that led to the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC), left the ruling party after alleging that the party has failed Nigerians.
He is yet to officially declare an interest to run in the 2019 presidential election.
While noting that he is sure the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is ready to welcome him back, Atiku said: “Nothing is absolutely certain in this life, but PDP needs a candidate with the brightest chance and that can only come from someone who has major experience, exposure, knowledge about running an economy.
“A candidate who is a nationalist and not a sectionalist and whose brand cannot be intimidated in anyway by that of the current president.”
‘APC MEMBERS TOO TIMID TO CONFRONT BUHARI’
Atiku said while members of the APC are not happy with its current state, no one is bold to “raise a voice against the illegalities being perpetuated” in the party.
He alleged that after Buhari had won the election, he was “no longer interested in the party that made him president”.
The ex-VP said: “Every activity stopped and not even the party chairman, Chief John Oyegun, could take any decision. I called Chief Oyegun a few times to tell him our party was dying slowly but he told me he would not do anything unless he got clearance from the president.
“At a stage, I gathered about 18 prominent members and began to meet in the hope that we can re-energise party activities, but some people lied to the president that I wanted to use the forum to launch my presidential campaign. That forum became simply dead on arrival.
“No BoT, no NEC meetings, as stipulated in our Constitution. The party became a one-man property. Everyone grumbles behind the president’s back but they are too timid to raise a voice against the illegalities being perpetuated. I should be bold enough to know what I want, and can do so at my age, so I decided to leave.”