A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said on Monday in Sokoto that he would sacrifice his ambition for the growth of his new party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. Mr. Abubakar made the declaration when he paid a courtesy call on the governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko.
“All of us are now willing to set aside our individual ambitions so as to build a formidable APC,” he said. “So, for now, we are not talking about how to pursuing our selfish political aspirations. We are collectively working to ensure the growth of the APC.”
Mr. Abubakar announced on Sunday that he dumped Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the opposition party. He said he defected to the APC after nationwide consultations with his political associates.
“Over 80 per cent of my political supporters are in support of my defection to the APC,” he added.
The former vice president said that Nigeria was in dire need of change, and commended the people of Sokoto State for rallying behind him always.
He stated that he got the highest number of votes from the state delegates during the 2011 PDP presidential primaries, when he challenged and lost the party’s ticket to President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former vice president, 1999- 2007, said the APC leadership was committed to building a strong and united party. Responding, Mr. Wamakko said that the APC’s struggle was aimed at salvaging the North and Nigeria in general. The governor urged leaders of the party to put Nigeria first and not their individual ambitions.
“I am appealing to you not to repeat the costly blunders of 2011 in order to achieve our vision and mission of salvaging Nigeria,” he added.
Mr. Wamakko said that such patriotism and political sagacity were required to build a stronger APC that would emerge victorious in 2015. He said that Nigerians needed a united country where the citizens are equal stakeholders.
“Good governance cannot thrive where there is no social justice and respect for the rule of law. Nobody should be seen to be above the law, and corruption must be squarely tackled without minding whose ox is gored,” he said.
Mr. Wamakko said that God did not make a mistake by creating Nigerians with diverse religious and ethnic differences. Although he is yet to announce his ambition, Mr. Abubakar is expected to challenge other potential aspirants for the presidential ticket of the APC in 2015.
Apart from challenging President Jonathan for the PDP ticket in 2011, Mr. Abubakar had in 2007 contested for president on the platform of the defunct Action Congress, after leaving the PDP a year earlier.
He lost the election to the PDP’s candidate, late President Umaru Yar’Adua. He later rejoined the PDP in 2009. (NAN)