Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, says there is nothing surprising about the resignation of Abubakar Atiku from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
While fielding questions from journalists after the Friday Jumaat prayers at the Aso Presidential Villa, el-Rufai said Atiku would return to the party today if he feels he can get the 2019 presidential ticket.
He said Atiku was never actually an APC member but rather a serial presidential contestant looking for any available platform on which to contest.
“Well, I won’t even say we were in the APC together. Some of us formed the APC, some of them joined because they thought that the APC was a platform for which they would contest election but when they didn’t get the opportunity they started looking around,” el-Rufai said.
“I have heard about what the former Vice President said about leaving the APC. We knew he was going to leave in December but he has left in November, which is good because the earlier he leaves for where he belongs, the better.
“He has changed political parties a few times, there is nothing surprising. Before the 2019 elections if situation changes and he thinks he can get the ticket in 2019, he will come back. That is what he has done a few times.”
El-Rufai further expressed certainty that no APC governor would follow Atiku out of the party, including that of Adamawa, Atiku’s state.
“I don’t know about the loyalists in the APC that will go with him but I want to assure you that there is no one governor in the APC that is going to go with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar,” he said.
“The only governor that he would think would go with him, the Governor of Adamawa State, has already endorsed President Buhari for the 2019 elections.
“And there are many governors… I will not mention the number, but a majority of the APC governors have already taken the position that the President should run for a second term in office.”
He added that even if Atiku joins the PDP and is offered the party’s presidential ticket for 2019, he does not pose any significant threat to Buhari’s chances of winning a second term in office.
“I do not see any Nigerian from the northern part of the country that will be able to match him [Buhari] in popularity,” he said.
“The people of the 19 northern states and Nigeria have decided because of the President’s past history of integrity and good governance; they are committed to him. Anyone standing up to challenge him is wasting his time.”