Former Vice President of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar has formally announced his defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The former vice president announced this on Sunday afternoon in a live video broadcast on Facebook, less than two weeks after he left the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The key to creating job is a strong economy and that is why we are currently lacking,” he said.
“So today, I want to let you know that I’m returning home to the PDP, as the issues that led me to leave it have now been resolved.
“I joined the APC as I had hoped it would be the new force that would help improve life for our people and I was excited about the party’s manifesto to create three million new jobs a year.
“The result has not been the change people had been promised or voted for as, in the last two years, almost three million Nigerians have lost their jobs.”
Explaining why he left the APC in November, he accused the party of failing to spearhead the rebirth of a new Nigeria as promised among other reasons.
Atiku had also claimed that the APC has adopted arbitrariness among similar practices, as well as failed to carry the youths along in governance.
“While other parties have purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalisation, 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,” he had said.
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Hours after the former vice president announced his resignation from the APC, the PDP had said his doors were open for him to return to the party.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Dayo Adeyeye, who addressed a news conference recently in Abuja, said they would gladly welcome the former presidential candidate if he decides to return to the party.
“Being a founding father of PDP, and because we have an umbrella that is big enough to accommodate everybody; our doors are wide open for him (Atiku) to come back to his home without any preconditions.”
But the APC spokesman, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi, said in a statement that they were not worried about the exit of Atiku from their party.
Abdullahi said the APC wished him good luck in his future political endeavours, saying the party would not miss him except it was able to ascertain that a substantial number of members left with the former chieftain.
“A loss of fortune is in numbers. So, if we are able to see the number of people that followed the vice president to his new party, that is when we will begin to worry but we have not seen. So, when we see we will know whether we need to worry or not. It is about numbers,” he had said.
Atiku was the vice to former President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007 after Nigeria returned to democracy.
After the end of Obasanjo’s administration, he contested and lost the presidential election of 2007 on the platform of the then Action Congress.
He had declared his intention to run for the presidency in 2011 but also lost to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former vice president joined the APC in February 2014 and remained in the party until his exit on November 24, 2017.