News / Africa

Nigeria Ruling Party Urges Defected Ex-VP to Return to Group

Nigeria's former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (File Photo)
Nigeria's former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (File Photo)
Peter Clottey
A spokesman for Nigeria’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has appealed to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, a party stalwart, to return to the ruling party after his sudden defection to the main opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC).

Abdullahi Jalo, however, denied that the PDP is in crisis following high-profile defections that include influential governors and legislators who announced they had joined the APC ahead of next year’s presidential, legislative and local elections.

The PDP has won every national election since 1999 when Nigeria returned to constitutional governance following years of military rule.  Analysts say the defection of the former vice president could undermine the electoral dominance of the ruling PDP in next year’s vote.

“We really want him to be with us and we are appealing to him to come back to our party so that at least we can move ahead. Because he has a lot of wealth of experience and then this is the time he could help the country,” said Jalo. “Whether he has an interest to contest or not, at least he cannot destroy the house he built, because almost all the elders and the founding fathers of the party are still with the PDP.”

Citing a lack of internal democracy, impunity and the refusal of the party to address concerns that led to the defection of the governors and legislators, Abubakar announced his defection from the ruling PDP.

“This is the first time that Atiku Abubakar is defecting from PDP to ACN [Action Congress of Nigeria] from ACN to PDP, and now from PDP to APC. We hope he will defect again from APC to PDP,” said Jalo. “Unfortunately, we are not comfortable with how he reacts to issues. We really sympathize with his decision, but people will begin to interpret it like he is jumping from one party, because he likes to become a president, which is unfortunate.”

But, Abubakar denied he wants to be the presidential candidate of the main opposition APC, vowing to help the party to win the 2015 general election.

Some observers say the defection of the former vice president could pave the way for more defections, contending that Abubakar, who is a financier of the PDP, enjoys significant support from the party’s “foot soldiers.”

Jalo, however, says the PDP is implementing new measures to address its internal challenges in the run up to next year’s vote after Bamanga Tukur, former national chairman of the party, resigned. Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu is the new national chairman of the PDP.

“The new chairman has come on board and visiting all those who are the brains behind the formation of the PDP. And wherever he goes, he will say be patient, please forgive us and let’s forge ahead. So that is the PDP of today,” said Jalo.

Jalo also says the ruling party is still capable of winning the general election next year in spite of the high-profile defections.

“It is the only party that embraces almost all the major tribes and smaller tribes and then they have come together to work together and that is what has made PDP to survive the 15 years ruling [the country],” said Jalo.
Clottey interview with Abdullahi Jalo, Spokesman for PDP
Clottey interview with Abdullahi Jalo, Spokesman for PDPi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: muyiwa ekundayo from: lagos
February 12, 2014 9:40 AM
It's a shame really the calibre of characters that parade themselves as leaders in this country. Atiku is confused man,a man that cannot even control his home. If nigeria were to be china,most of these guys should have either been shot or serving life jail.

by: kingsley from: abuja
February 04, 2014 12:06 AM
Atiku...lol I really sympathise with his decision making, maybe APC needs his money more than the PDP. Incase if he is still interested tell atiku am forming a party next election and obasanjo wants in...


by: Abel Ogah from: OJU Nigeria
February 03, 2014 6:05 PM
Who told Jalo that Atiku cannot use his wealth of experience to help the country in his new found Love-APC?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs