May formally join PDP December 6 el-rufai: Itâ€™s a replay of what he knows best APC expresses surprise
Olawale Olaleye in Lagos, Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who formally resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Friday, said that his resignation was largely influenced by the â€œimpunity, arbitrariness and unconstitutionalityâ€ in the APC.
In the statement he personally signed, Atiku said that injustice and failure to abide by its own constitution, â€œwhich had dogged the then PDP, have now been replicated in the APC, while the PDP appears to have purged itself of the malice.â€
He said while other parties had purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalization, â€œthe APC had adopted those same practices and even gone beyond them to institute a regime of a draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy within the party and the government it produced.â€
Atiku continued: “Only last year, a governor produced by the party wrote a secret memorandum to the president which ended up being leaked. In that memo, he admitted that the APC had not only failed to manage expectations of a populace that expected overnight change, but has failed to deliver even mundane matters of governance.
“Of the party itself, that same governor said â€˜Mr. President, Sir Your relationship with the national leadership of the party, both the formal (NWC) and informal (Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso), and former Governors of ANPP, PDP (that joined us) and ACN, is perceived by most observers to be at best frosty. Many of them are aggrieved due to what they consider total absence of consultations with them on your part and those you have assigned such dutiesâ€™.
“Since that memorandum was written up until today, nothing has been done to reverse the treatment meted out to those of us invited to join the APC on the strength of a promise that has proven to be false. If anything, those behaviours have actually worsened.â€
Atiku also alleged that the APC had failed and continues to fail its members, especially young people, and queried why the federal cabinet lacked one single youth.
He said: “A party that does not take the youth into account is a dying party. The future belongs to young people. I admit that I and others who accepted the invitation to join the APC were eager to make positive changes for our country that we fell for a mirage. Can you blame us for wanting to put a speedy end to the sufferings of the masses of our people?” he said.
Atiku also gave reasons for his previous exit from the PDP, saying that he left because the party was factionalized at that time.
“The fractionalization of the PDP on August 31, 2013, had left me in a situation where I was, with several other loyal party members, in limbo, not knowing which of the parallel executives of the party legitimate.
“It was under this cloud that members of the APC made the appeal to me to join their party, with the promise that the injustices and failure to abide by its own constitution which had dogged the then PDP, would not be replicated in the APC and with the assurance that the vision other founding fathers and I had for the PDP could be actualized through the APC,” he said.
The sudden exit of Atiku from the APC might have thrown the party into a panic as it had to swiftly rally its national leadership and tried to reach out other top leaders so as to avert any unpleasant backlash.
Some of the top party members that came to the national secretariat of the APC apparently, after learning about Atiku’s exist, were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
Meanwhile the PDP has responded to Atiku’s exit from the APC describing it a welcome development.
The opposition party said that the former vice president would be welcomed anytime into the party without any preconditions.
The Spokesman of the PDP Caretaker CommitteÃ¨, Dayo Adeyeye described Atiku as a true PDP man to the core, adding that having noticed that he made a mistake in joining the APC, his return to the PDP would be like a home-coming of some sort.
He said that Atiku had realized that he and others that left PDP in 2013 were deceived into believing that there was a platform that would correct all the ills in the PDP and that it could create an eldorado in Nigeria.
“I believe they were deceived, people like Atiku because we had challenges in our party at that point in time, they went and joined the new party called the APC which we have all now seen is a fallacy.
“The day APC was born marked a tragedy for Nigeria. It has been a monumental disaster for Nigeria. There is nothing progressive in them. Everything about them is unprogressive. Everything about them is complete disaster.
“It is human to make mistakes because we are not infallible. We have no knowledge of what will happen in the future. Human beings can always be deceived. But in John 8: 32, the Bible says ‘And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’
“I believe Atiku has come to know the truth like he said in the statement that he has now known the truth, that the APC is not what they call themselves, is not a better platform. That platform is the worst platform in the history of politics in Nigeria.
However, Atiku’s former party, the APC has said although it was yet to be notified of his resignation, it would nonetheless wish the former vice president luck in his new party if that satisfies his political interest.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said that politics was all about interest and that every politician would naturally act based on his or her interest.
Atiku May Formally Defect to PDP December 6
Meanwhile, plans might have been concluded for the former vice president to formally join the PDP on Wednesday, December 6.
The date of his defection to the PDP is believed to have been carefully chosen to allow the Adamawa State-born politician to attend the party’s national convention scheduled for December 9.
THISDAY gathered that Atiku had done a lot of ground work preparatory to his moving to the PDP, chief of which was his many meetings with all the state chairmen of the PDP, aside the regular networking with the top echelon of the party.
What is therefore going to happen on December 6 is a formality of his transition from the APC to the PDP as he is said to have long singed off with the ruling party.
Whilst it is clear Atiku is joining the PDP to fly its flag as its presidential standard bearer, it is not clear yet if the understanding had been sealed, more so that the party also parades a few persons who have their eyes on the nation’s number one seat.
El-Rufai: Atiku’s Defection’s a Replay of What He Knows Best
The Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, yesterday mocked Atiku over his resignation from the APC, saying the former vice-president had only rekindled his trade mark of jumping from party to party.
El-Rufai who made this remark while answering questions from journalists in the State House, Abuja, said Atiku’s defection did not take him and APC unawares; pointing out that the earlier information at their disposal was that he would defect in December, adding that his exit earlier than expected was a welcome development.
Mocking Atiku further, el-Rufai said â€œgiven Atiku’s seeming desperate posture to contest election, he will not hesitate to return to APC in 2019 if he sees a fresh opportunity to pick the presidential ticket of the party before 2019.â€
He dismissed insinuations that his defection might pose a huge threat to the re-election of Buhari, saying no individual from the 19 northern states of Nigeria today could match the popularity of the president.
He also dismissed assumptions that Atiku’s exit might rock the boat of the party following speculation that some of his loyalists, including some sitting governors on the platform of APC, might dump the party in solidarity with Atiku, emphasising that no single governor would ever accompany him to another party.
According to el-Rufai, the only governor Atiku might expect to leave APC with him was the Adamawa State Governor, Bindow Jubrilla, explaining that such assumption has now turned out to be a fiction as Jubrilla has openly endorsed Buhari for a second term.
el-Rufai also disagreed with the notion that Atiku was forced out of the party, saying other leaders of APC like Tinubu that Atiku referred to as some of the leaders who were sidetracked by the party, had not left the party as he described Atiku as a serial contestant.
“Well, I wonâ€™t even say we were in the APC together. Some of us formed the APC; some of them joined because they thought that the APC was a platform for which they would contest election but when they didnâ€™t get the opportunity, they started looking around.
“No one has driven him out of the party. The APC is an equal opportunity platform for everyone. He has in his statement of leaving the party, made reference to the memo I wrote to Mr. President in September 2016, where I was calling on the President to reach out to party leaders that feel aggrieved and I mentioned him, the Asiwaju and many others. The others are still in the APC because they believe in the direction of the party. They believe we have come to save the country from a very bad situation. But the former vice president is always looking for an opportunity to contest. He is a serial contestant and we wish him luck.â€
APC Out to Sabotage Our Convention, Says PDP
In a related development, the PDP alleged yesterday that it had uncovered a plot by the APC to disrupt the smooth conduct of its national convention scheduled for December 9.
The party said some elements within the PDP were ready to be used by the APC to disrupt the PDP’s national convention by plotting to organize a parallel convention on December 9.
He said that the intention was to cause disaffection and possibly create the impression that there is division within the PDP.
The Spokesman of the PDP said that apart from alerting the public to the evil plot, the party intends to reach out to the security agents to help stop any such parallel convention.