Atiku and Buhari
In a statement released on Friday, Nigeria’s former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, gave reasons for taking the decision to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The influential politician referred in particular to a confidential memo Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 to complain about how Atiku and other senior members of the party were being treated.
Atiku said: “Only last year, a governor produced by the party (el-Rufai) 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.”
Atiku is expected to return to the PDP, a party he helped to found in 1998 and on whose platform he was twice elected vice-president – in 1999 and 2003.
He has been seeking, albeit unsuccessfully, to be president since 2007, and is expected to give it one final shot in 2019.