• Mobilises North East stakeholders to dump APC, holds marathon meetings
By Iheanacho Nwosu, Romanus Ugwu, Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja, Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse, Agaju Madugba, Katsina
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has begun the process of rejoining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a meeting with key leaders of the party in Adamawa and the North East zone.
Last weekend, he kick-started the process, which is expected to ensure mass defection, with series of meetings in his Adamawa home, after he formally resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC), which he helped to form in 2014.
A source close to Abubakar told Daily Sun that he first held a consultative meeting with the PDP executive in Adamawa led by the chairman, Mr. Tahir Shehu.
The source said the former vice president also had a session with the National Vice Chairman of PDP in the North East, Mr. Emmanuel Njuwa as well as six chairmen of the party in the zone.
When contacted, media aide to Abubakar, Paul Ibe declined comment.
Meanwhile, a letter to the chairman, Jada 1 Ward of APC showed that Abubakar actually resigned from the APC on October 18 and not last Friday.
The five-paragraph letter titled: “Resignation” he personally signed was received by one Usman Mugr on the said date, contrary to the statement by the APC leadership that the former vice president is yet to inform it of his resignation.
Abubakar had in a statement announcing his resignation accused the APC of derailing from its vision. He lamented what he described as the unbearable hardship the people were undergoing under the APC.
He equally expressed his fears that there may not even be a country for the politicians to lead again should the APC government continue with the level of impunity it had shown since taking over power.
“I am resigning from a party we formed and worked so hard with fellow compatriots across the country to place in government. I had hope that the APC government will make improvements to the lives of our people and the continued existence and development of Nigeria as one indivisible nation. This hope has now been dashed.
“I am unable to reconcile myself with the dismal performance of the party in government, especially in relation to the continued polarisation of our people along ethnic and religious lines, which is threatening our unity more than any other time in the recent past and the unbearable hardship that our people are currently undergoing.
“As I said in 2006, it is the struggle for democracy, constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice. Let me emphasise again that this is not about me. We have to have a country before people can aspire to lead it,” he said.
Chief Olubode George lauded Abubakar on his return after his romance with the APC.
“Atiku was a tenant in the APC and it is nice that he has come back to his house,” George told reporters in Katsina yesterday where he met with members of the PDP over his aspiration for the party’s national chairmanship position.
George said he was optimistic of emerging victorious at the December 9 convention, arguing that, “the PDP is like a ship in distress and you need a tested hand to rescue it. Nigerians are waiting and watching the PDP. We must get it right this time because if we fail on December 9, then only God knows what will happen to the party. God has given us a second chance and we must not blow it up.
“It is nice for Atiku to have come back home even though he has not told us anything yet. When you have a leaking roof, you stay and repair the house because you are the landlord. But if you are a tenant anywhere, the landlord can kick you out any time. Atiku is one of the founding fathers of the PDP and there are many more like him who should return to the party.
“The APC is a contraption. It is a congregation of strange bedfellows unlike the PDP, which is a solid party with a very big taproot in the heart of this country. The people of this country own the party and that is why it should not be entrusted in a few hands and that is why this convention is very important because we must get it right,” George said.
In the heels of the resignation of the former vice president, a PDP chieftain, Mohammed Kabir Usman said with the impeding political alignment, the PDP will regain control of the National Assembly before the 2019 general election.
Usman, an aspirant for the position of National Publicity Secretary told journalists in Abuja at the weekend that the PDP leadership, apart from reaching out to former members of the party in the National Assembly and former and serving governors, who left in 2013 it was also taking steps to address the issues that led to their exit.
He said the country is set to “witness an unprecedented political realignments that will return certain states as well as control of the National Assembly to the PDP.”
He added that “in the last seven to eight months, we have been making contacts with quite a number of people in the National Assembly and a number of serving and former governors, who were with us in the PDP before they left for the APC.
“All they are waiting for today is a free and fair national convention and once we are able to do that, they are back to the party because the APC is not a credible platform and its gimmicks have been exposed. “So, across Nigeria, we have done a lot of consultations and negotiations. Mark what I am telling you today, before the end of second quarter of next year, the National Assembly is going to be controlled by the PDP.”
Meanwhile, former Jigawa governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido has also pleaded with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, Aliyu Wammako, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, former governor Attahiru Bafarawa to emulate the Waziri Adamawa by returning to the PDP so as to reclaim victory in 2019.
Addressing a mammoth crowd, yesterday, during the inauguration of a PDP office in Ringim Local Government Area of Jigawa, Lamido said: “I’m begging Saraki, Tambuwal, Kwankwaso, Wammako, Bafarawa, Masari, Abdulfatah and all those that left us to join this party of dreamers and fake people to come back to PDP, the party that made you politically relevant and made you what you are today as a leader in your own rights.
“We had known that sooner or later, this would happen because it is an amalgamation of strange bedfellows that formed the APC that people like Atiku felt he could support its course, yet today they have betrayed him and they will all betray you if you don’t leave them.
“It is unfortunate that the APC that comprises those seen to be as ‘saints’ could be classified by Atiku Abubakar as a symbol of poverty, betrayal, disrespectful and a dungeon of hell. If Atiku would quit this party, it would be morally wrong for any Nigerian to continue to patronise the APC,” he declared.
“I’ve said it again and again that my movement is devoid of pride and lies, it is the will of the almighty Allah that is propelling the people to love and support me and that is how I am; love me or hate me, it is up to you because those showing their genuine affection for me are real and not fake,” he boasted.
He described the APC as a composition of fraudsters that usurp God’s work of passing judgment on Nigerians.
Lamido declared that the commissioning of the new PDP office in Ringim was a reply to some critics that claimed that the party is dead in the state.