Thursday, 21 December 2017

Atiku's Exit From APC Does Not Bother Us One Bit....Nasir El Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has said that, All Progressives Congress (APC) is waiting for the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to come and contest the 2019 presidential seat against President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that, they cannot lose sleep over Atiku’s ambition.

El-Rufai also said that, Atiku lied by saying he financed the APC campaigns in 2015. He however challenged the former Vice President to prove his claims.

Kaduna State Governor stated this in an interview with the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA), which was monitored in Kaduna on Wednesday.

Also featured in the short interview on the VOA Hausa service programme ‘Democracy Today’ were the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar himself and former Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, who has since declared intention to contest the presidential ticket under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

When asked about his intention to contest in 2019, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar simply said, he has not made up his mind, saying that, “when I decide, I will let the world know”.

But, Sule Lamido in his reaction to Atiku’s return to PDP said, they were happy to have him back, and that, he is not threatened by Atiku’s return.

According to Lamido, “We are happy that former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is back to PDP. PDP made him and that he is back to the party is our joy. Not only him, in fact, we want others who left the party like the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and former Governors to come back”.

Asked whether he is not threatened by Atiku’s return, Lamido said, he is not threatened, but his prayer is that, best Presidential candidate will emerge for PDP. “If our interest is to see the progress and development of Nigeria, then, we should also prayer that everyone who left should return home”.

However, El-Rufai while tongue-lashing Atiku said, “We in the APC were aware from onset that Atiku was going to leave APC back to PDP in the December and we thank God that, he left in November.

“Atiku had seen that, we in the APC, especially the APC Governors had resolved to support President Muhammadu Buhari to run again in 2019. That is why he left APC, since he was only looking for where to contest for presidency.

“Even in the 2015 APC primary election, Atiku didn’t come second, he was floored by Kwankwaso. So, even if President Buhari decides not to contest, Atiku knows that the APC ticket is not sure for him. Majority of the APC Governors have endorsed President Buhari as our candidate for 2019.

“And we thank God, God has continued to improve the health condition of the President. Each time I see him, I thank God and I still pray that God continues to give him sound health.

“So, by 2019, we are waiting to see Atiku contest, we are waiting to contest against him and see what happens. But, I cannot lose sleep because Atiku wants to contest, because by God’s grace, this is the reign of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Agreed, in politics if you lose even only one person, it should worry you, but the utterances of the former Vice President that, APC used his money, who did he give the money to? For me, I know those that supported us with their money and property that we used during election, and I never heard the name of Atiku that he brought a dime. If Atiku said he brought money, who did he give? Let him come and say it and how much did he give and what was it used for?

“And in fact, if Atiku brought money, I ought to know, because I am part of the leadership of the party and during campaign, myself and former Governor Rotimi Amaechi were at the centre of the presidential campaign. Therefore, we are supposed to know. So, let him mention whom he gave the money and how much?

“Asked about large number of APC members who are likely to follow Atiku to PDP, El-Rufai said, “Sure, we know that, we cannot rule out the possibility of some greedy people following him, those that are following material things. But, if people will consider how we can work for the progress of our country, everybody knows that you cannot compare Atiku with President Muhammadu Buhari”, El-Rufai said.

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