Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President Bukola Saraki and former Kano State governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso are not contemplating to return to the All Progressives Congress (APC), their aides told Daily Trust on Monday.
APC had, sequel to the return of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Senator Barnabas Gemade to the ruling party, urged those who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to also return.
APC, in a statement on Sunday by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, said the party was ready to welcome new members and those who wish to return to its fold.
But when contacted yesterday, Atiku who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media, Paul Ibe, told Daily Trust in a telephone interview that there was no truth in it, adding that he would not return to a “sinking ship.”
“It is not true. His Excellency Atiku Abubakar will not return to a sinking ship. All of these shenanigans are to distract Nigerians from its (APC-led government) monumental failures at governance that has left our people poorer to the extent that we are now the poverty capital of the world,” he said.
“Its leadership of the last five years has left our country more insecure and more divided than at any other time. Its policies have made more people jobless and compromised our sovereignty.
“Going back to the APC is like willingly opting to go to hell,” he added.
Similarly, an aide of Saraki who does not want to be named, said his boss has been abroad with his family, and described the statement of the APC as mere diversionary tactics.
“They want to divert people from their party crises and the failure of the Buhari-led administration, hence the diversionary tactics. Dogara has a unique problem with his governor. There is no plan between oga and the former speaker on this defection. The PDP is better than APC. APC is not attractive to anybody now,” he said.
For his part, the spokesman of Kwankwaso, Comrade Aminu Abdussalam, said no right thinking politician will join APC “that is on the verge disintegration.”
“To the best of my knowledge, I’m not aware that they have consulted His Excellency, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Engineer Kwankwaso is a bonafide member of the PDP. More so, how do you expect anybody in his right senses to join APC at this material time?
“APC is on its downward journey, the party is at the state of disintegration, it is suffering from self-inflicted injury and there is nothing they can do now to rectify it. They have destroyed everything and compounded our security problems. In the last five years, the party did nothing apart from making Nigerians to suffer, suffer and suffer,” Abdussalam said in a phone interview.
Meanwhile, stakeholders of the APC, including party executives from Bogoro, Tafawa Balewa and Dass Local Government, Federal Constituency have described the return of Dogara to the party as a blessing.
Addressing a press conference at the party secretariat in Bauchi, spokesman of the stakeholders and former chairman of Bogoro Local Government, Elisha T. Gwamis, said the defection of Dogara would increase the chances of APC to sweep the forthcoming local government election in October.