Atiku: Presidential aspirant says Buhari is not a democrat

Atiku says Buhari is not a democrat

The former vice president said he's confident the president is not a democrat like he claims.

Presidential aspirant and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of not being a democrat as he claims.

Buhari was Nigeria's military Head of State between 1983 and 1985 but was democratically elected as president in 2015 off the back of a campaign that he's a reformed democrat.

While speaking during an interactive session with journalists in Kogi State on Thursday, September 13, 2018, Atiku said the president is not as democratic as he claims.

Despite his reservations about the president's democratic ideals, he said he expects him to peacefully hand over if he loses in the 2019 presidential election.

"Even though I know that President Buhari is not a democrat, I believe he will hand over if he loses," he said.

Atiku's belief that Buhari will peacefully hand over next year is a departure from his comments last week when he said he's worried the president is too "power-drunk" to leave without a fight.

He said, "We are dealing now with a retired general (Buhari), very uncompromising, also power-drunk who will not be ready to leave power without a fight – or at least those are some of my fears for the current elections."

The presidency dismissed Atiku's comments noting that the president is a committed democrat who is not intoxicated by power.

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When Atiku dumped Buhari's All Progressives' Congress () and returned to the People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2017, after months of growing discontent, he accused the president of neglecting him and condemned the for "instituting a regime of a draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy".

Atiku to battle long list of aspirants for PDP's ticket

While he's one of the favourites to win the presidential ticket of the PDP, Atiku will have to defeat a lot of influential politicians who have also set their eyes on the prize.

He faces competition in Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, and former governors, Sule Lamido, Attahiru Bafarawa, Jonah Jang, Ahmed Makarfi, as well as Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Others are former Senate President, David Mark, former Senator, Baba Datti Ahmed, and former Minister Special Duties Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Tanimu Turaki.

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