Nigeria's former vice president joins opposition party

Analysts say Atiku Abubakar’s defection threatens ruling party's popularity

Nigeria's former vice president joins opposition party

World Bulletin / News Desk

Nigeria’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Sunday announced his return to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), barely two weeks after resigning from the ruling party.

Abubakar, 71, had resigned from the liberal democrat All Progressives Congress (APC) in late November, citing lack of internal democracy and the party’s alleged failure to honor its campaign promises.

He had joined the APC in 2013-14 in a bid to contest for president, but lost in the primaries to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

Earlier, from 1999-2007 he was vice president for the center-right PDP.

"I am glad to announce my return to PDP," Abubakar announced in a live Facebook broadcast on Sunday, saying all the issues that had warranted his initial defection from the opposition party had now been resolved.  

Insisting that the ruling APC "has let down the people of the country", Abubakar said at least 3 million jobs had been lost since Buhari took charge in 2015.  

"Whatever was promised has not been delivered," he said, adding that young citizens were disgruntled with the current administration.  

Local analysts say Abubakar's return to PDP is not a good omen for the ruling party, which insists that his resignation has not affected its vote bank.

Signaling a wave of defection ahead, at least eight commissioners reportedly resigned last week from the government of northeastern Adamawa state, Abubakar's home state, to show solidarity with him.  

An influential and wealthy politician, Abubakar plans to contest in Nigeria’s presidential race in 2019.  

He had complained of being sidelined by the presidency he helped bring to office after the government revoked juicy contracts for his multi-million dollar firm Intels. 

His presidential run remains threatened by corruption allegations that date back to his days as deputy to former president Olusegun Obasanjo. 

Abubakar insists the corruption allegations are mere rumors targeted at his presidential ambition and reputation as a businessman.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Aralık 2017, 13:04