Saturday, 25 November 2017

Atiku Exit: Massive Defection Set To Hit APC

There were fears among the All Progressives Congress chieftains on Friday , following the defection of former Vice -President Atiku Abubakar from the ruling party.

It was gathered that although the APC was expecting Atiku' s exit , it dawned on it on Friday that the former vice - president ’s action could lead to mass defection from the ruling party.

It was learnt that the fears were worsened by the feeling of some leaders of the party that the fate of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2014 could befall the APC before the 2019 elections.

In 2014, the PDP was weakened following the exit of some governors and National Assembly members, including a former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso ; ex- Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi ; Senator Bukola Saraki , and the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal .

Chieftains of the APC , who confided to PUNCH on Friday, said although the ruling party had been waiting for Atiku’ s defection , it was uncomfortable with the fact that there were many aggrieved members who would soon dump the party in power.

One of the party leaders cited Kwankwaso and a former Lagos State governor , Asiwaju Bola Tinubu , as two of those who were not happy with the way the party was being run .
He said more than two years after coming to power , President Muhammadu Buhari had not made appointments that would bring into government those who worked for his election.

The chieftain also said that associates of the President including the Chief of Staff, Mr . Abba Kyari and Buhari’s nephew , Maman Daura,“have constituted themselves into a powerful cabal. They take key decisions in this government Those who ensured Buhari ’s election have been sidelined. If the APC and the Presidency dismiss Atiku’ s defection , they are not realistic. There are fears that the party may crumble . Apart from the Minister of Women Affairs , Aisha Alhassan , there are other appointees of this government that are supporters of Atiku .”

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