Former vice president Atiku Abubakar, Wednesday, denied knowledge of the groups of politicians who announced their defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC). He said he harbours no such plan.
The groups, linked to Atiku, according to the coordinator, Peter Ogar, said they were compelled to join the PDP which elicit hope and assurances for the youth of the country. He said they dumped the APC because it has become a house divided against itself.
However, Atiku, who is now a chieftain of the APC, in a statement by his media office, in Abuja, said he remained a committed member of the APC.
Several reports have linked Atiku back to the PDP, especially with the recent defection by about 120 of his alleged supporters. Special Adviser to President Godluck Jonathan on Political Affairs, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali also on Tuesday said that the former vice president was a core PDP member and would return. “Atiku is a PDP man to the core but he has gone on vacation and I believe one day he too will come back to the party. My only prayer is that he comes back before the general election this year so that he can support Mr President fully to ensure our success.”
Atiku laughed off Alkali’s position. “You know, it’s funny how some people put politics and vacation in the same sentence. Let me assure you: politics is a serious business, it is hard work, and for me at least, it is more than a full time job. I really don’t know how you can seriously think of taking a vacation, in a country like ours, with the politics we have,” the statement by Atiku said.
“As a patriot and democrat, I’m always seeking what is best for Nigeria. I did that when we built the great assemblage of the finest men and women under the umbrella of the PDP to get rid of the generals; I did that when I left and returned to the PDP, and I did that when I helped to turn the APC into a serious opposition party. When I toured our country, and listened to the hopes, fears, and expectations of Nigerians from all walks of life, I said the APC is the final bus stop, and that it is the end of the line. Because it is, for me.
“So, some say I’m a PDP man to the core: I’m asking you, what does this even mean, what is the PDP?”
“You know where I stand: I want a competitive democracy, true federalism, a government that creates conditions for people and business to thrive, and keeps out of business and people’s lives, and I want a country that is united and proud of its diversity. Do you think this is what the PDP stands for and do you think this is what the APC can deliver?,” he queries.