- Atiku’s 24 years presidential ambition hots up
The silent discontentment which extended to protracted Cold War in the All Progressives Congress (APC) since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari administration has permeated deep into the basic fabrics of structural in cohesion in the ruling party. The negligence or perhaps delayed actions by President Buhari to address some of the controversial issues in both the ruling party and the party-government further deepened disaffection among APC leaders and other stakeholders.
The ruling party is, accordingly, being infested with symptoms disharmony of interests which is giving credence to political calculus that APC may in 2019 be reduced to one of the legacy parties, Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), while others may have opted for new alliances.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) legacy faction of the APC is still licking the bitter pills of having the leader of that legacy party not accommodated in the centre stage of activities in the party. The same experience is being encountered in the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the pocket of APGA and the coopted nPDP.
Invariably, APC leaders, namely, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Asiwaju bola Ahmed Tinubu, Senator Rab’iu Musa Kwankwaso, etc, who were in the vanguard of the mobilization for the victory of the party in 2015 are not being carried along since the Buhari administration. This culminated into outcries of cabals hijacking the Buhari administration at different times by notable APC stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the 24 years presidential project of Atiku Abubalar has shaken the political crust of the APC, degenerating into the quake of a potent faction of the APC cracking out before the end of 2017. This reflected in the resignation of the former vice president from the ruling party on Friday. Atiku’s resignation became imperative with the plot for automatic ticket for Buhari’s second tenure which indicates blockade of internal democracy in the party.
Atiku had technically cited his reasons for resignation in the most political simulation to disabuse suspicions. While, singing off the APC, Atiku’s political machine has been lubricated across the country for grassroots mass mobilization in the build up to 2019.
Atiku first joined the presidential race in 1992 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) after the party primaries that was about giving birth the presidential candidature of late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was nullified by General Ibrahim Babangida.
Atiku’s political stature took him to the last three presidential aspirant on the platform of the SDP who included Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, Chief M.K.O/ Abiola and Atiku, himself.
The SDP political machine was engineered to mediate on a consensus candidate which eventually turned out in favour of Abiola. Again, Atiku gave up the vice presidential ticket for Kingibe.
Becoming vice president in 1999, Atiku was in the 2007 presidential race on the platform of the Action Congress (AC), contested for the ticket in 2011 on the platform of the PDP while losing the presidential ticket to President Buhari in 2015 on the platform of the APC.
The grassroots mobilization of the former vice president has dissolved ethnic, religious and regional boundaries across the country. Atiku has shown sufficient preparations for the president since 1992 and his readiness for 2019 make take the holocaust to stop him.
Moreover, the APC is likely to expect further political quake in the preparations for 2019.
The political climate emits heat that even when other factions choose to remain in APC, the party may encounter protest votes from within.
Sending in his resignation letter, Atiku had given poor governance and seeming broken promises as reasons for his decisions.
Details of Atiku’s resignation letter reads:
On the 19th of December, 2013, I received members of the All Progressives Congress at my house in Abuja. They had come to appeal to me to join their party after my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, had become factionalized as a result of the special convention of August 31, 2013.
The fractionalization of the Peoples Democratic Party on August 31, 2013 had left me in a situation where I was, with several other loyal party members, in limbo, not knowing which of the parallel executives of the party was the legitimate leadership.
It was under this cloud that members of the APC made the appeal to me to join their party, with the promise that the injustices and failure to abide by its own constitution which had dogged the then PDP, would not be replicated in the APC and with the assurance that the vision other founding fathers and I had for the PDP could be actualized through the All Progressives Congress.
It was on the basis of this invitation and the assurances made to me that I, being party-less at that time, due to the fractionalization of my party, accepted on February 2, 2014, the hand of fellowship given to me by the All Progressives Congress.
“On that day, I said “it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my decision” to accept the invitation to join the All Progressives Congress.
“Like you, I said that because I believed that we had finally seen the beginnings of the rebirth of the new Nigeria of our dreams which would work for all of us, old and young.
However, events of the intervening years have shown that like any other human and like many other Nigerians, I was fallible.
“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
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?
“Be that as it may be, 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.
“May God bless you and may God bless Nigeria.”
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