By Ericjames Ochigbo, Harrison Arubu, Douglas Okoro
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said on Friday that he resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC) because the party had failed Nigerian youths.
Atiku announced on his website that the ruling APC was a dying party that never took youths into account.
He said the future belonged to young people and that he joined the APC to facilitate a bright future for the young and old.
“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?’’
Atiku also hinged his resignation on fractionalisation of the APC, resulting from “arbitrariness and unconstitutionality’’ over the years.
He said it was for the same reason that he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014.
“While other parties have purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalisation, the APC has adopted the same practices.
“It has 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 added.
Atiku said that after due consultations, he had resigned from the APC to take time to ponder his future.
Meanwhile, some stakeholders in the APC in Ebonyi state have said the exit of Alhaji Abubakar from the party would not destabilise it.
In a statement personally signed by him in Abuja on Friday, Atiku announced his resignation from the APC, claiming that he had been marginalised in the party.
He did not, however, indicate his next step in politics, but it is speculated that he would declare for another political party in his ward in Adamawa at the weekend.
The stakeholders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki that Atiku’s departure would not rock the party nor affect its chances in the 2019 general elections.
A former Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Egwu Chima, said that the action of the former vice president did not demonstrate leadership, adding that his departure from the APC was unfortunate.
“The information just filtered in and I don’t have details of reasons for Atiku’ s action. However, APC fortunes in 2019 will not be affected by his resignation.
“The party remains a party of the moment; APC remains a party that is focused.
“APC remains the party that is giving Nigerians direction in leadership, fighting corruption in all facets and reorganizing the economic system.
“APC government is reorganizing and repositioning the bureaucracy, strengthening the economy and restoring the country back from pariah status.
“It is unfortunate, and I say unfortunate that somebody of the status of Atiku Abubakar, who is one of the earliest founders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has been moving from party to party.
“He was with the late Musa Ya’ardua and founded the PDM, formed PDP, left for Action Congress and from there back to PDP and again to APC where his jumping out from now
“Such action doesn’t make someone look like a leader and for me I don’t admire such qualities,” Chima said.
On his part, former Commissioner for Environment in the state, Dr Paul Okorie, said the former vice president’s exit from the APC was not a good lesson.
“Well, Alhaji Atiku Abubaka just exercised his freedom of right to belong to associations and that includes political parties.
“He may have an ambition he hoped to achieve in APC which he may have seen as being threatened and hence his decision.
“Having dropped from the APC’s moving train, the party moves on, and as he leaves, many others are coming into the party.
“It is all about his personal interest and conviction. I am wishing him well as he commences fresh political expedition.
“However, his dumping the APC will not distract the party nor limit its chances of victory at the 2019 general election,” Okorie said.
Acting Chairman of APC in the state, Mr Eze Nwachukwu, said: “Atiku is an accomplished politician and must take responsibility for his actions; I have nothing much to say.
“One thing is clear and that is that APC is bigger and larger than one individual or group of individuals and I wish him well.”
Atiku challenged President Muhammadu Buhari for the APC ticket in the build-up to the 2015 elections.