From Ndubuisi Orji , Abuja
After weeks of speculation about his next political move, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, formally announced his return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Atiku, in a facebook broadcast to his friends confirmed his return to the opposition, which he ditched prior to the 2015 general election.
“…Today, I want to let you know that I am returning home to the PDP as the issues that led me to leave it have now been resolved and it is clear that the APC has let the Nigerian people, and especially our young people, down.
“But rather than giving a long political speech on this matter I thought it would be more helpful to invite you to ask me questions and share with you my answers,” Atiku said. “I have found in my travels across the country that whenever I get into conversations with young people, their number one concern is whether they will be able to get a job, for without a job they have no means of sustaining themselves or begin a family.
“And without the security of a job, we cannot have security in our country. So, without jobs there is no future for you or for Nigeria.
“And I also know, as a parent, that the older generation is also concerned about jobs for their children and, too often today, for themselves as well.
“Creating jobs is something I know about as I have created over 50,000 direct jobs and 250,000 indirect jobs in my own state of Adamawa.
“And I also know how the government can help create the right environment for businesses to create jobs. When I was vice president in 1999, I was responsible for liberalising the telecomms sector, which enabled us to increase the number of people who could access a phone from less than one million then to over 100 million today. This transformation resulted in the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs from the top-up card vendors you see on every street corner to the many new businesses that fed off the mobile phone revolution.
“Some of you may know that I was elected Vice President under the banner of the PDP, which is the political party I had helped to found some ten years before.
“And some of you may also know that I left the PDP four years ago when I believed it was no longer aligned to the principles of equity, democracy and social justice upon which we had founded it.
“I joined the APC as I had hoped it would be the new force that would help improve life for our people and I was excited about the party’s manifesto to create 3 million new jobs a year.
“The result has not been the change people had been promised or voted for, as in the last two years almost 3 million Nigerians have lost their jobs.
“And today with a record 25% of people aged 18-25 unemployed I can see how difficult it is for our youths to find a job.
“The key to creating jobs is a strong economy and that is what we are currently lacking.”
In its immediate reaction to the return of the former vice president, the PDP said it was happy with the development.
Spokesman of the opposition party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye said the party is where Atiku rightly belongs to.
Adeyeye told Daily Sun in a telephone interview, that “ He(Atiku) is welcome. We are about his return. PDP is his home. He is one of our founding fathers. And as I have said before now, our doors are open to him.”
Recall that following Atiku’s resignation from the All Progressives Congress(APC) last month, the PDP had urged to return to its fold.
Adeyeye at a press briefing in Abuja said the opposition is ready to re-admit the former the two-time vice president, without any pre-condition.
The party, however, said there would be no automatic ticket for Atiku, who is known to nurse a presidential ambition for the 2019 general election.
This is the second term Atiku would be returning to the PDP, after unsuccessfully seeking for greener political pasture in other political parties.
In the run-up to the 2007 general elections, Atiku dumped the PDP for the Action Congress (AC) after a bitter feud with his then principal, former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The former vice president later returned to the party after he lost the 2007 presidential election on the platform of AC; hoping to contest the 2011 presidential election on PDP platform.
However, to his utter disappointment, he lost the party’s ticket to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Atiku, a two-time vice president on the PDP platform, fell out again with the party at its convention in Abuja on August 31, 2013, when he alongside aggrieved party members, including seven governors stormed out of the convention.
They formed the New PDP, which later fused with the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP) and the defunct Congress for Progressive Change(CPC) to form the APC in 2014.