The battle for the soul of the 2019 presidency may have begun in earnest following Friday’s declaration by Atiku Abubakar, former Vice- President, that he is no longer a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement which he personally signed, Atiku, who had earlier said the APC will be his final bus stop after joining the party in 2014 said his reason for calling it quit with the party was due to failure to govern optimally, exclusion of youths, arbitrariness and unconstitutional actions.
“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?”
He said, “after due consultation with my God, my family, my supporters and the Nigerian people whom I meet in all walks of life, I, Atiku Abubakar (Waziri Adamawa) hereby tender my resignation from the All Progressives Congress while I take time to ponder my future”.
Acccusing the APC of disctarship and intolerant for opposition, he said “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.
“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.
“Since that memorandum was written up until today, nothing has been done to reverse the treatment meted out to those of us invited to join the All Progressives Congress on the strength of a promise that has proven to be false. If anything, those behaviours have actually worsened.
“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.”
While Atiku has not disclosed his next political moves, sources close to the former Vice- President said he may pitch his tent with his former political party, PDP under which he may seek to realise his presidential ambition in 2019.
With Atiku out of APC, many believe that it is a matter of time that his supporters in APC and President Buhari’s government also toe the same path.