What El-Rufai said about Atiku’s defection from APC (FULL DETAILS)

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday reacted to the exit of former vice president Atiku Abubakar from Nigeria’s ruling party, APC.

Mr. El-Rufai, a leader of the APC, spoke after the Friday Jumat prayer at the mosque in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Mr. Abubakar on Friday announced that he was leaving the APC. He did not say the party he was going to join, although he is expected to run for president on the platform of the opposition PDP.

The former vice president and Mr. El-Rufai have in the past had a public spat over issues of corruption and loyalty.

While answering reporter’s questions on Friday, Mr. El-Rufai said Mr. Abubakar was not driven out of the APC.
Read the full details of questions asked Mr. El-Rufai and his answers below.

Q: How do you feel that Atiku has left the party that you are in together?

El-Rufai: Well, I won’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 will contest election but when they didn’t get the opportunity they started looking around.

I have heard about what the former Vice President said about leaving the APC. We knew he was going to leave in December but he has left in November which is good because the earlier he leaves for where he belongs, the better. He has changed political parties a few times, there is nothing surprising. Before the 2019 elections if situation changes and he thinks he can get the ticket in 2019 he will come back. That is what he has done a few times.

Q: Some are saying you people have driven him out of the party?

El-Rufai: 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.

Q: Some Nigerians are saying that some members of your party loyal to him might go with him. How do you react?

El-Rufai: I don’t know about the loyalists in the APC that will go with him but I want to assure you that there is no one governor in the APC that is going to go with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. The only governor that he would think will go with him, the governor of Adamawa State has already endorsed President Buhari for the 2019 elections. And there are many governors I will not mention the number but a majority of the APC governors have already taken the position that the president should run for a second term in office. And we are grateful to the Almighty God that the question marks about his health have been put to rest, he is getting better every day and we are confident that the way to preserve our party and preserve and advance the interest of Nigeria is for Mr. President to run for a second term. I’m curious to see which APC governor will go with Atiku. As for party loyalists it depends on what you defend as loyalists. We will wait and see how that evolves.

But as a governor I want to assure you that not one governor is going to leave the party to go with the former Vice President. That I am sure of. I can speak authoritatively about it because I’m in touch with my colleagues.

Q: Don’t you see him as a threat in the event the PDP gives him the ticket and he runs against the President?

El-Rufai: He has never been and will never be a threat to President Buhari. Let me say this very clearly, and I have said this to the former Vice President in 2014 Dubai when we met. Because before joining the APC, he sent for me. He told me of his intentions and I welcomed it because politics is a game of addition not subtraction. So the more you have the merrier.

However, I told him not to run for the presidency because I believe very strongly this is Buhari’s era. As long as President Muhammadu Buhari is in politics I do not see any Nigerian from the northern part of the country that will be able to match him in popularity. The people of the 19 northern states and Nigeria have decided because of the president’s past history of Integrity and good governance they are committed to him. Anyone standing up to challenge him is wasting his time. God has decreed that this is Buhari’s time and we are waiting for the PDP to give Atiku Abubakar the ticket and we will face him on the field. But I have no doubt that I will not lose any sleep about it.


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  • m

    Elrufai is not only arrogant but also proud and the pride in him shall be his downfall. Atiku will defeat buhari in 2019 because Nigerians just discovered that buhari is EMPTY.

    • Daniel

      If buhari is empty what of atiku?
      He is just a desperado because his marabout told him he will be president one day .
      I used to like him but with all the revelations about Intel which has shown that he is a tap sucking Nigeria dry.

    • SBA

      Atiku just gave Buhari a very easy second term.

      • aisha ani

        Atiku will not get the PDP Presidential ticket, he will be used and dumped.

    • raji

      Atiku can not even win his state. For him to leave APC is a blessing because he is just a liability. I wish Saraki should also go back to pdp

      • aisha ani

        You are talking of state, the man cannot win the polling booth in front of his house.

  • Iskacountryman

    only elrufai is a threat to buhari…word…

  • Dan

    That’s my Governor. Fearless, intelligent, articulate and astute politician.

    • aisha ani

      I love that little man, he will be president one day.

  • Lami T

    When he had no influence in the party he cried louder than anyone, now that he has a conner in the administration he is suddenly singing praise, well the end of such a person is never good. Anyone that tells the people that APC is still a party is just protecting his personal interest. El-Rufai is a serial liar who is loyal to no one but himself.

    • duwdu

      At the very least, the APC is better than the PDP in the overall perception of the voting public, even as recently as in Anambra state. So, what do people like you have ON el-Rufai’s APC party, exactly, other than noise on social media?


      • Ishaku isaac

        What voting public are you talking about? Two years of a party without s single milestone is worst than PDPs 16 years. APC should forget it. They have lost it already.

      • Africa

        You are a wise man!

      • Tony Ani

        Stop dreaming. The Igbos will never vote APC in a free and fair election. There were pictures of APC sharing cooked rice to manipulate voters duing the Anambra election. Not ideal to have a one party nation. We need a vibrant opposition.

  • Usman Tijani

    A party is a vehicle that takes you from point A to point B. If you are in a vehicle that breaks down along the way, you naturally will not stay stuck at that same place. You either fix the vehicle or you get into another vehicle. The vehicle is important, but it is the destination that is the whole point.

    • Gbola

      Do you then go from a BRAND NEW 2 year old vehicle thats still very much in operation AS OF TODAY, to a 16 year-old haggard looking vehicle which had been condemned as a “Total Write-Off” (2 years ago) by the insurance or policy-holders ??

      • Akwaowo

        Even brand new vehicles with factory faults get recalled.

        • Gbola

          “Recalled” in this context doesn’t mean the same as a “Total Write Off”.

      • Tony Ani

        It is more satisfying to be part of rebuilding ailing PDP.

        • Gbola

          Rebuilding a “Totally-Written-off” and condemned car wouldn’t amount it to a brand new car.

          Go Figure !!

          • Tony Ani

            Nope, PDP cannot and has not been written off. It is also not in the interest of Nigeria to be a one party nation. It is hypocritical and a manifestation of ingratitude for El-Rufai to be attacking Atiku. It is on record that Atiku brought El-Rufai into national limelight through Obasanjo. There is actually no basic difference between the two thiefing parties. Some prominent leaders of APC like Amechie, El-Rufai, Saraki, Gemade, Dogara, Kwakwanso, Twanbuwal and many more were beneficiaries of the PDP mismanagement. It is also obvious that the APC would not have won the elections without the PDP defectors who are still very prominent in Buhari’s administration. Thank you Sir.

  • sirOscie

    Hubris, A fine quality possessed by fools that perish from it…..
    Look down on your opponent at your risk.

  • Selfa Nden

    Mr el rufai speak on your people in Kaduna state or any northern state not middle belt people.Thank God plateau, Benue,Nassarawa nobody voted him there

  • KBE

    The people of the 19 northern states …..have decided. Are you there are truly 19 northern states anymore Mr dreamer?

  • Ishaku isaac

    Ha ha Mr. Governor. You are not God. Is only God makes one a leader.

  • Solomon Brown

    Rufai trying desperately to downplay Atiku’s exit from APC…… I can’t help but laugh at how they try to wave aside this major political chess move. If Atiku was not important, I see no need why APC would be running around trying to do damage control. Atiku should play his cards right,and this will be an easy sail to the presidency.

    • Bunmi Fabusola

      ATIKU! This man has involved in many national & international bribery schemes! Right now, he can’t even trip to USA! For his involvement with the
      Imprisoned American Congress, William Jefferson, for bribery schemes! When the campaign starts, APC has enough whipping canes, to whoop him in to a corner & eventually gone with the WINDS in to oblivion!!!!!

  • manager

    Atiku will still come back to APC

  • Spoken word

    Atiku changes position like a pornstar.

    • Tunsj

      Well said. But I will add to it. Atiku switches positions more than a hooker in a cheap hotel.

  • Someone

    what are these criminals always doiing in dubai ???

  • Nwo Odoli

    The only thing people say about Atiku is that he switches party, and I say that is part of Nigerian politics. APC sent for him and many others that are APC governors to switch from PDP to APC and the APC we’re happy that happened. Why should Atiku stop switching? There will be more coming.