the All progressives Congress, APC,
Atiku Abubakar, has denied knowledge
of the groups of politicians who
announced their defection to the PDP
from the APC.
Atiku said in a statement by his media
office in Abuja that he remains a
committed member of the APC and
urged that the purported defections of
these groups be discountenanced.
A total of 120 so-called pro-Atiku
support groups on Tuesday defected
from the APC to the PDP.
They dumped the APC for the ruling
PDP at an elaborate ceremony held at
Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
However, in a reaction, Turaki
Vanguard, the umbrella group of Mr.
Atiku’s supporters said members of the
120 groups were not supporters of the
former vice president.
The National Publicity Secretary of
Turaki Vanguard, Soji Bamidele, told
PREMIUM TIMES that the defectors were
not Mr. Atiku’s loyalists as they
“They are faceless groups, we don’t
know them,” he said.
Mr. Bamidele, who confirmed that Mr.
Atiku was being wooed back into the
party, said the former vice president “is
not shifting ground and will never go
back to the PDP”.
Mr. Atiku was a member of the PDP
before decamping to the APC in 2014.
He however failed to pick the
presidential ticket of the party, losing to
Muhammadu Buhari, who is flying the
party’s ticket in the March 28
While the groups were being received
at the Yar’Adua centre, Atiku was
attending a meeting with Mr. Buhari
and media representatives.
Peter Ogar, national coordinator of
Renaissance for Socio-political
Transformation of Nigeria, who spoke
on behalf of the groups, said they
decided to return to the PDP as there
was no alternative to President
He said after critically analysing the
president’s development programmes,
the groups came to the conclusion that
they surpassed all those executed by
previous governments in the country.
“We have understood the event of
December 10, 2014, wherein our able
leader, the Turakin Adamawa, Alhaji
Atiku Abubakar, was, through a gang
up, denied us and indeed Nigerians the
chance to have a true option in the
forthcoming presidential election,” Mr.
“Accordingly, we had to take time to
analyse the inner workings of the
current administration under President
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and came to
the conclusion that outside the Turaki,
there is no better candidate within any
opposition political party, hence the
need for a rethink and strategic political
repositioning for the sake of our great
Receiving the defectors, the National
Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Uche
Secondus, assured them that they were
now in the right party.
“Today, you have decided to return, you
have equal rights with any other
member of the party who have been
there for a long time,” Mr. Secondus
“You are free to engage in any party
activities especially at this time when
we are campaigning and election
coming on the 28th.
“There would have been no better time
for you to show and to declare your
support for the party and our candidate,
Jonathan. The rally point today is
Jonathan; he is the symbol of Nigerian