Why I defected to APC- Atiku
Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar said on Sunday that he defected to the to the All Progressives Party (APC ) because his former party the People's Democratic Party (PDP) has lost direction.
In his view, the PDP has lost some of the core values that motivated its formation by the founding fathers.
The former vice president said that he chose his present course of action after he found that all efforts to put the party back on track had proved abortive.
He spoke to Channels Television News At 10.
Atiku accused the party leadership of consistently ignoring reports submitted by different committees towards reposition the party.
According to him, PDP has lost its independence to the government and with it its power to control elected officials of government from the party.
He said that the used to be in a position to question government and governors but the situation had degenerated, as he sees the party as having now failed by leaving its people and Nigerians in general.
The former vice-president once left the PDP in 2006 to run for president as the Action Congress's candidate, but later returned to the PDP in 2009.
Abubakar said that his defection was a normal process because 'ours is an evolving democratic process' and it was normal to move from party to party until the whole system is well developed. He enthused that there was nothing to suggest that he was inconsistent.
He was also asked to share his plans for the APC, if things did not go according to his plans, but the former presidential candidate said assuredly that this would not happen. He noted that the APC is another good experiment like the PDP was in the beginning.
Mr Abubakar also said that his defection was not about contesting for the Presidency. He said: 'It is not about the issue of contesting for positions' as he had earlier said that he was passionate about Nigeria.
He assured Nigerians that the APC was different from the PDP and that they should 'wait and see' what the APC offers. He referred to the PDP as the establishment that did not want change, while the APC is seeking change.
He also took time to speak about the issues of corruption surrounding him in relation to bribery allegations by American Congressman, William Jefferson. Abubakar explained, 'Jefferson never gave any money to me and I was never convicted in that report.'
He added that even the jury in America convicted Mr Jefferson on all counts, except the count about the bribery of foreign nationals. So on the fact that he mentioned his name, he said 'I cannot stop him from dropping names.'
He added that Nigeria needed a leader who is committed to the philosophy and ideology of the party and who is acceptable by all ethnic and religious classes. 'We need people who can unite the country and move it forward', he said.
Abubakar had earlier in a statement announced that he had left the ruling People's Democratic Party for the APC.
The former vice-president said that he and his supporters had been forced out of PDP, a party which he claims he co-founded with its foundation members.
Abuabakar's grievances include being left out of most of the party's major decisions, being left out of party's Board of Trustees, National Executive Committee meetings.
He insisted that as a former vice-president of the country, he was entitled to be a member of that body.
According to the statement, the former vice president said 'following this extensive consultative process, I have, therefore, decided to cast my lot with the APC, a party of change, committed to the improvement of the lives of our people and to the continued existence and development of Nigeria as one indivisible country.
'My resignation letter as a member of the PDP will be delivered to the party tomorrow'.