…Sokoto gov, party spokesman exit APC for PDP
Ndubuisi Orji; Romanus Ugwu; Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Exodus from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) continued yesterday as the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal announced his exit.
He took with him 18 of the 30 House of Assembly members to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
READ ALSO: 2019: Tambuwal may join PDP today
The woes of the APC deepened further as its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, also dumped the ruling party, blaming his resignation on what he called fragrant usurpation of his responsibility.
But the Federal Government and the APC claimed that they were not distracted or surprised by the defection of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Tambuwal, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Abdullahi.
Tambuwal said he was returning to the PDP, which he left four years ago, because the opposition party has learnt some bitter lesson from its past experience.
Tambuwal, who announced his defection at a rally in Sokoto, expressed disappointment that the APC, which promised so much in 2015, has not broken new grounds in any positive way.
He noted that instead of moving the country forward, the ruling party has reached an unprecedented height in impunity and vices, beyond the challenges that forced himself and others out of the PDP.
The Sokoto governor noted that the APC has brazenly turned itself into a sanctuary for the corrupt and a machine for rigging and for the rape of democracy.
“There are issues of brazen inequity and capacity and questionable distribution of appointments/projects. This is in addition to lack of statesmanship in responding to national issues, among other things that are for aggravating the anomaly.”
Tambuwal said unfortunately, the government has often blamed the current state of affairs on political opponents. He lamented that all attempts to discuss the electoral promises of the APC-led government, including the restructuring of the country as promised Nigerians in the APC manifesto, have proved abortive.
“I cannot look those who elected me their governor here in Sokoto State in the face and boldly point to any meaningful federal projects initiated in the state under the APC government. Even the bulk of uncompleted federal projects here that were inherited from the previous administration have largely remained in their state of neglect. Sokoto State is also not being meaningfully carried along in political appointments and in other matters of national importance. He explained that his decision to ditch the ruling party is motivated by his interest in governance and the economic wellbeing of the people.
“Information from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that over nine million jobs have been lost in the last three years, since the APC government came into office. While youth unemployment rate was 11.70 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2014, it rose to 33.10 per cent in third quarter of 2017 under the APC government. The economy is not showing any real signs of improvement. Our educational and health institutions are in retreat. Poverty is on rampage and still ravages the land. It is unacceptable that majority of those who voted for APC in 2015 should have nothing good to show for it.
“As in the past, it is only my interest in equity, the wellbeing of Nigerians and a befitting future for our teeming youths, national unity and economic prosperity that has led to my new locus in Nigerian politics today. We all have a duty to do our best, while nudging our political parties to progressively align political contests in Nigeria along clear ideological lines; such that sooner rather than later the aspirations and the will of our people will be the only determinant of election outcomes,” Tambuwal stated.
On his part, Abdullahi, in the statement he personally signed claimed he had to endure flagrant usurpation of his role as spokesman of the party in a manner that he considered unbefitting of a ruling party and inconsistent with his ethical standards.
“In a situation whereby my loyalty is constantly brought into question, my subordinates deployed to subvert my office and my views constantly second guessed on the basis of my political affiliation, it has become imperative for me to review my position,” he stated.
According to the Federal Government, the exit of Saraki is a great relief to the APC.
READ ALSO: APC won’t miss Saraki – Okorocha
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who stated this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting said Saraki had become the greatest obstacle to the government.
The minister said the APC would lose nothing with the defection of Saraki and his loyalists adding that the party in the state will grow stronger with his exit.
Also reacting, APC in a statement by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, said: “Every follower of events in recent times could decipher the signs that foretold the exit of Saraki, Tambuwal, Ahmed, Abdullahi, from our great party.”