Former Nigerian Vice President Abubakar Joins Opposition PDP

LAGOS (Capital Markets in Africa) – Nigeria’s former vice president Atiku Abubakar, a potential candidate for 2019 presidential elections, announced that he has re-joined the opposition People’s Democratic Party that he helped found.

Abubakar said in a video posted to his Facebook account that the ruling All Progressives Congress Party, or APC, which he quit last month, had failed to improve lives and create the 3 million jobs a year it had targeted.

“I left the PDP four years ago when I believed it was no longer aligned to the principles of equity, democracy and social justice,” he said. “I want to let you know that I am returning home to the PDP as the issues that led me to leave it have now been resolved.”

Abubakar, 71, a founding member of the party, was number two to former President Olusegun Obasanjo from the end of military rule in 1999 to 2007. His defection to the APC ahead of 2015 elections, along with current Senate President Bukola Saraki and several governors, helped weaken the former ruling party while boosting President Muhammadu Buhari to unseat a Nigerian incumbent at the ballot for the first time in the country’s history.

Buhari has struggled to maintain party cohesion, with Abubakar among disaffected members who have accused the president of relying on a core of trusted aides in making government decisions and ignoring the input of party leaders.

A plunge in revenue caused by lower output and prices for oil, the country’s main export, saw the economy suffer its worst slump in 25 years and undermined Buhari’s ability to meet his campaign promises, such as rebuilding infrastructure, revitalizing the power industry and creating jobs. Amid heightened restiveness across the country, including militancy in the oil-rich southern delta and separatist pressures in the southeast, rivals such as Abubakar have accused of Buhari of a divisive approach to national issues that has alienated some of the country’s regions.

“I joined the APC as I had hoped it would be the new force that would help improve life for our people,” Abubakar said. “We need a party that speaks to national sentiments not regional ones. We need a party that can make all Nigerians one.”



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