Former VP, Atiku, set to make ‘major announcement’ Sunday

Atiku Abubakar

Atiku seems to be ready to dump the PDP for the APC.

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday said he would be making a ‘major announcement’ on Sunday.

Atiku tweeted Saturday via his handle @atiku saying: “My friends, I shall be making a major announcement tomorrow. And I will be sharing it with you”.

Some political commentators believe the major announcement would be that of his defection from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.

The former vice president had in the past weeks embarked on a tour of states across Nigeria consulting with his associates over whether to join the APC or remain in the PDP.

During the tour, he met with governors and other chieftains of the APC in what is believed to be consultations with the governors to intimate them of his plans to join the party.

Second coming

This would be the second time the former VP would be leaving the PDP, of which he is a founding member, for the opposition.

In 2006, Mr. Abubakar left the PDP to join the defunct Action Congress, AC. He ran for President in 2007 on the party’s platform.

However, he returned to the PDP after the 2007 elections and sought the presidential ticket of the party in 2011.

President Goodluck Jonathan defeated the former VP at the PDP presidential primary election held on January 13, 2011 getting 2736 votes to Atiku’s 805.

Despite the defeat, the former Vice President remained in the PDP, but signs that he would leave began to emerge when he led five governors to walk out of the PDP mini convention held on August, 31, 2013 in Abuja.

The governors were Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Abdulafathah Ahmed of Kwara, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano and Mu’azu Aliyu of Niger state. Two other governors, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers later joined the dissident group at the Shehu Yar’adua centre, where they announced a faction of the PDP known as the ‘new PDP’.

Five of the seven governors moved to the APC in October last year, while Governors Lamido and Aliyu chose to remain in the PDP.

Mr. Abubakar had concluded his consultation tour with a meeting with his supporters from the North East region on Friday at Zarandah Hotel, in Bauchi where he was reportedly advised by them to dump the PDP and join the APC.

A press statement from his media office after the meeting stated that majority of those who spoke at the meeting urged the former vice president to defect to the APC.

“And when the matter was put to a vote, as was done in previous meetings, the APC enjoyed 88% support as against 10% for the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM and the PDP trailing in third place with only 2% of the votes,” the statement said.

It also quoted Atiku as saying that his consultations were prompted by the visit of the leadership of the APC to him last December and the invitation extended to him to join the party

The statement added, “He expressed appreciation to his associates and stakeholders for standing by him in “victory and in defeat” over the decades.

“You are the foot soldiers who will get the votes. You are central in our political process and that is why I have to come and consult with you in helping me to take perhaps the most difficult decision of my political life.”

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