Former Minister of Aviation Osita Chidoka says Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won’t apologise over his Yoruba and Igbo president comment.
The former vice president had in a recent gathering advised northerners to vote for someone from the region in next year’s general election.
“What the average Northerner needs is somebody who’s from the North and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country,” the PDP presidential candidate said.
“This is what the Northerner needs. It doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate. I stand before you as a pan-Nigerian of northern origin.”
The comment had generated heated debates and condemnations from several quarters but Chidoka maintained that Atiku does not need to apologize for the remark.
“I think we need to move beyond these political gimmicks and political gimmickry that goes on when people say one thing, we turn it the other way round and we use it for political ends. The point he is making is a very clear point – that we need a Nigerian president, somebody that would unify the country, will understand the issues, and be able to solve them,” Chidoka said while fielding questions on Channels Television’s Politics Today which aired on Tuesday.
“So, I don’t think that it is a statement that warrants any apologies or discussions. It is for Vice President Atiku to continue to explain himself to the public. We still have four months in the campaign so he needs to go out and explain his agenda that he is a Nigerian president that is desirous of making sure that all parts of Nigeria feel wanted in Nigeria, and feel united. He needs to unify the country to be able to propose the difficult solutions that must be applied to make this economy and the country work again.”
The PDP chieftain described the debates generated by Atiku’s comment as “unfortunate”.