The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Walid Jibrin, has ruled out granting automatic ticket to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to contest the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the party.
He said should Atiku return to the party as being speculated in some quarters, he and other aspirants would struggle for the party’s presidential ticket.
According to him, the former vice-president is free to dump the governing All Progressives Congress and return to the PDP.
He added that the party was ready for Atiku’s return and would warmly accept him and his supporters back to the PDP fold.
The BoT chairman, who spoke to journalists in Kaduna, argued that with the treatment being meted out to the former vice-president by the APC, he (Atiku) had no option than to join the PDP ahead of 2019.
Jibrin said, “Has he told you he is returning to the PDP? We are ready to accept him to our party but he should be ready to work for a waiver.
“The North met in Abuja to say that any candidate from the North can contest. Let us get them. I think they are getting set now. For now, we have a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido; a former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, and so on preparing to vie for the PDP presidential ticket.
“If the PDP grants Atiku a waiver, he should then join the cream of presidential aspirants in the party to fight for the ticket in 2019.
“If the PDP considers Atiku for the automatic presidential ticket, what about those in the party who are showing interest? Should we throw them away? If he is coming, he should come as an equal partner.
“We are ready to accept him. But, he must follow the rules of the game. First, he must undergo primaries like any other person, and he must fight for the presidential ticket.”