From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governor of Adamawa State, Mohammad Jibrilla, popularly called Bindow, has laid to rest, speculations he is billed to follow former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor said this, yesterday, when he spoke with newsmen at the Presidential Villa after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja.
He also said Atiku’s defection could not affect the electoral fortune of the part in the state.
The governor who said he was in the Villa to brief President Buhari about the security situation in his state, added that Atiku is mature enough to take any political decision.
When asked if he was joining Atiku, he said: “Let me talk about Atiku first before myself. The former vice president is more than matured enough to decide whatever he wants for himself.
“As far as I am concerned, I am one of the founding fathers of APC. When I was in the Senate, we were the ones, alongside the current Senate President, who worked hard to ensure that all members of the National Assembly, who agreed to move to APC. So, I cannot see any reason why, today, the house I built, I will leave. So, I am in APC for the rest of my life, period.”
On his personal relationship with Atiku, Bindow said: “Not only Waziri, every elder in Adamawa State, as far as I am concerned, I regard them as my parents or elders. So, Waziri remains somebody I respect as a father, and the same with any other elder in the state.”
Asked to affirm his support for President Buhari, as claimed by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, he replied: “Yes, I was fortunate enough, very rare opportunity to be the first governor to do that for our president. As far as we, the people of the North East are concerned, we will remain loyal to our president who is highly committed to the fight against insurgency. We will remain loyal to our president.”
Pressed to speak on whether Atiku is on his own over his defection to the PDP, the governor replied: “I have told you, he is more than matured enough. He is an eminent personality, a former vice president and so will be able to decide what he wants to do.”
Again, asked if there would be any political implication in Adamawa, with Atiku’s defection, Bindow noted: “Well, APC is strong; we have 25 members in the Assembly, 23, in fact, 24 now because one of them has moved to the APC. So, 24 out of 25 members in the House of Assembly are APC. The three Senators from the state are APC, even in the House of Representatives, including Adamu Kamale, who recently moved to the APC. So, we are strong and we will continue to be strong.”
Last week, Atiku, former vice president resigned from the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), citing lack of internal democracy and the party’s failure to carry along the youths as well as fulfil its promise to Nigerians.
Jibrilla is Atiku’s associate and speculations were rife last week he would also return to the PDP.
But, indications he would not follow Atiku to the PDP emerged last week when Bindow, in a statement, through his Commissioner for Information, Ahmed Sajoh, said his relationship with Atiku will remain cordial.
“The governor was elected under the banner of APC and will continue to remain as APC governor.The relationship would not be affected in any way. The former vice-president respects the governor. As the number one citizen of the state, the governor respects the former vice president as a prominent son of the state.”
Sajoh also pointed out that neither the governor nor any of his cabinet members will follow Atiku to the PDP.
The former vice president contested for the party’s presidential ticket with Buhari in 2014.
Atiku came a distant third behind Buhari and a former Kano State governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Before making his position public last Friday, Atiku had resigned from the APC on October 18, 2017.