The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says its Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a symbol of national unity, cohesion and tolerance who is comfortable and is loved in all parts of the country.

This is contained in a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja on Sunday.

The party was reacting to alleged comments made by Abubakar over his call for a northern presidency in 2023 as  Stakeholders’ Meeting in Kaduna State at the weekend.

The party condemned the attempt to deliberately distort, doctor, misinterpret and take out of context, the comments by Abubakar at the meeting.

“For clarity and avoidance of doubt Abubakar remains a Pan-Nigerian leader.

”He has never and will never set any part of our country against the other as being mischievously hyped.

“To set the record straight, the PDP Presidential Candidate, in responding within the context of the question put to him at the event noted that he had built bridges across the country and that what Nigerians including an average northerner need was a Pan-Nigerian leader and not an ethnic champion,” the party said.

The party therefore calls on all Nigerians to remain focused on the PDP’s mission to rescue, reunite, rebuild and restore our nation on the path of peace, national cohesion and economic prosperity, which the Atiku/Okowa Presidential ticket represents.”

NAN reports that the All Progressives Congress (APC) 2023 Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) had accused Abubakar of only paying lip service to national unity.

Mr Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media and Publicity of the council stated on Sunday in Abuja that Abubakar had resorted to ethnic ”jingo” in the face of imminent defeat at the 2023 election.

He stated that Abubakar’s recent statement to the effect that northern Nigerians did not need a Yoruba or Igbo president was the worst expression of ethnocentric opportunism ever uttered by a former vice-president.