Former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar has dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress, his media aide Paul Ibe said on Friday.
Atiku himself confirmed his resignation later on in a statement. Although he did not state which party he would join, the former VP is widely expected to return to the former ruling party People’s Democratic Party, on whose platform he was the VP between 1999 and 2007.
“After due consultation with my God, my family, my supporters and the Nigerian people… I, Atiku Abubakar… hereby tender my resignation from the All Progressives Congress while I take time to ponder my future,” he said in the statement.
Atiku alleged that the APC had derailed from the principles that made him join the party on February 2, 2015.
“While other parties have purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalization, the All Progressives Congress has adopted those same practices and even gone beyond them to institute a regime of a draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy within the party and the government it produced,” Atiku said in a statement.
He also, tacitly, acknowledged the existence of a frosty relationship with the leadership of the party and President Muhammadu Buhari, using a controversial leaked memo sent to Buhari by the governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai as reference.
“Only last year, a governor produced by the party wrote a secret memorandum to the president which ended up being leaked. In that memo, he admitted that the All Progressives Congress had “not only failed to manage expectations of a populace that expected overnight ‘change’ but has failed to deliver even mundane matters of governance”.
“Of the party itself, that same governor said ‘Mr President, Sir Your relationship with the national leadership of the party, both the formal (NWC) and informal (Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso), and former Governors of ANPP, PDP (that joined us) and ACN, is perceived by most observers to be at best frosty. Many of them are aggrieved due to what they consider total absence of consultations with them on your part and those you have assigned such duties’.”
Atiku insisted that since the memo was leaked, neither President Buhari nor the leadership of the APC had made moves to attend to all the points raised by El-Rufai.
He said the party has derailed, failed to deliver on its electoral promises, and has stifled youth participation in its government.
“But more importantly, the party we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people, especially our young people. How can we have a federal cabinet without even one single youth?
“A party that does not take the youth into account is a dying party. The future belongs to young people.
“I admit that I and others who accepted the invitation to join the APC were eager to make positive changes for our country that we fell for a mirage. Can you blame us for wanting to put a speedy end to the sufferings of the masses of our people?”