Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has pleaded with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure a free and fair contest for the party’s 2019 presidential ticket.

Atiku, who was at the PDP national secretariat on Friday, formally informed the leadership of the party of his intention to seek the party’s presidential ticket.

The former Vice President assured the party chiefs of his willingness to accept defeat and support whoever wins the ticket, provided the exercise is just, free and transparent.

He commended the party for the transparent conduct of the Ekiti governorship primary election.

“If the feat recorded during the governorship primary in Ekiti State is repeated in other primaries that will come, this party is destined to reclaim its role and retrieve power generally through our electoral process,” Atiku said.

He recalled that the impunity and manipulation of the PDP past nomination processes were responsible for the party’s defeat in the 2015 elections.

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Atiku, however, observed that with the precedence set by the new leadership of the PPD, the party was on its way to reclaiming power in 2019.

He said: “This meeting is not intended for anything other than my desire to seek the presidential ticket of the party. I am here to put you on notice and I believe that I should do this before reaching out to other organs of the party.

“I want to thank you and look forward to working with you. Whether as presidential candidate or not, you can always expect me to fulfil my obligations as a loyal member.”

Responding, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, assured Atiku of a free, fair and transparent presidential primary.

Secondus stated that the leadership has vowed to return the party to the original vision of its founding father.

“We have total commitment to run a free fair and transparent party. We will conduct all election primaries with the utmost fear of God. We cannot allow Nigeria to collapse,” he said.