The former vice president, Atiku Abubakar has put an end to his 2011 presidential campaign by formally shutting down the Atiku Campaign Organisation. Mr. Abubakar, who announced the closure at the 1, Luanda Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja office of the organisation, however told the members of staff of the organisation gathered there that he was not a quitter and that anyone who thinks otherwise is making a mistake.
"As you all know, the convention (PDP presidential primaries) fell short of our expectations. You should not despair (and) on my own part, I want to assure you that I am not a quitter. If you think that I am quitting and giving up, you are making a mistake," he said.
He also said that only a few gave his bid for the PDP presidential ticket any chance of getting far...
"However, we were able to reach a number of important milestones along the way. Some said I was not going to be allowed to return to the party (PDP), but I did. Some said I was not going to be given a waiver, I got a waiver. Some said I may not emerge as consensus candidate, but I prevailed. Some said I was not going to go through the screening process, but I scaled that hurdle. We were also able to travel the country and interact with party delegates. And we became very competitive," he said.
He described the campaign directorate and staff as supportive, and hailed them for their commitment to the campaign efforts, insisting that the bid was not lost due to their failure.
"I would like to say that our inability to prevail last week Thursday (January 13) was not due to your failure;
it was not due to your lack of effort or commitment. I know that you were committed and that you worked hard. So, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You should, therefore, hold your heads high and never despair," Mr. Abubakar said. He again re-affirmed that since the conclusion of the PDP Convention on January 13, he has been holding consultations with members of his family and political associates and that these consultations are ongoing.
"In the meantime, we shall be winding down activities at this campaign office and closing the office so that you may get back to the other aspects of your lives. I thank you for your hard work and sacrifices," he said.
He, however, assured them that the team ‘shall reconvene' at a later date.
Director General of the Atiku Campaign
Organisation, Ben Obi has said that irrespective of the outcome of the PDP presidential primaries, Mr. Abubakar ‘remains a political force to be reckoned with in Nigeria.' "The country needs the services of this man. There is no way anybody can form a government without the support of the Turaki," he said. "We will come back again and so be ready to be called upon, even at short notice, whenever the situation demands. For now we cannot keep you all together, but I know that we still have some steam left in our avowed commitment to working together with Nigerians to make good things happen in our dear country."
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