Presidential poll: Obi, Ayu to blame for Atiku’s loss, says ex-senator


Former Senator representing Edo South District, Matthew Urhoghide, has blamed the loss of the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at the February 25 poll on the in-fighting between the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, and the G-5 governors as well as the sudden exit of Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, from the party.

Urhoghide, who recently dumped the PDP, made the statement when he featured on ‘Politics Today’, a popular political programme on Channels Television on Monday night.

“The election was there for Atiku to win so much that even the APC acknowledged it. Former President Muhammadu Buhari also admitted that it was the division in the PDP that caused our loss.

“That was also what Adams Oshimhole was referring to when he appeared on your platform,” he lamented.

His regret is coming four months after the incumbent President Bola Tinubu was announced as the winner of the presidential poll.

The former Lagos governor polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku, who garnered 6,984,520 votes while Obi came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes.

But the senator believed the results could have been different if the PDP presents a united front.

“It is a sound school of thought. Obi should have been allowed to remain in PDP. If that had happened, we could have replicated what happened in 2019. That’s because the vote that he got, whether by popularity or whatever happened to him in the PDP that made him leave, would have helped to bring in votes.

“Let me also say this. Even though the governors (G-5) were overbearing by their actions insisting that the National Chairman of the party step down, of course we know the reason, they felt bad maybe because they were not made the party’s presidential candidate. But, at least, we could have avoided any rancour that was going to arise from the decision to pick another person.

“The only thing that should have been done by the chairman was to say ‘If it will take me stepping aside for the party to win, why not?’ I don’t know what persuaded Senator Iyorchia Ayu to stay. But knowing him and who he is, he is a gentleman. If I were Ayu, I would have stepped down. What was important to the party was to win the election. Everything will fall into place. That was equally what happened in my state, Edo, where the PDP came third,” he bemoaned.