Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has said he has always been interested in a people-oriented political party like the All Progressives Congress.
Even when he was a Peoples Democratic Party member, Atiku said his mind was focused on a progressive party.
He said contrary to speculations, it did not matter to him who emerged as the APC candidate in the 2015 presidential election. He added that what was important was for those in the opposition to build a strong and united party with zero tolerance for the impunity that had characterised the PDP.
The ex-VP said these in an online interview with our correspondent on Friday.
Speaking on his frequent defections, Abubakar said they were not personal but constitutional aspirations. He insisted that the constitution allowed him to express himself politically, socially and economically.
He also said the removal of Bamanga Tukur and the appointment of Adamu Mu’azu as the PDP national chairman would not resolve the crisis rocking the ruling party.
He said, “The problems of the PDP are now national problems, beyond the capacity of one man. I tried as an individual to tackle it from within the fold, it did not work.
“I am not ashamed to tell you that. My APC idea is to stop the PDP from continuing to be Nigeria’s problem.”
Abubakar noted that his primary purpose of moving to the APC was not to pursue a personal ambition but to work with “like-minded persons” to provide Nigerians with the change they desired.
“The PDP is, today, a party of the establishment – the status quo. The APC is more people-oriented – a party of social democrats. And that is where I belong right from my Social Democratic Party days. I am pro-people,” Abubakar stated.
Abubakar stated that contrary to reports that he left the PDP, the ruling party abandoned him long ago.
He said, “When I was pushed out of the party (PDP) in 2006 and went back in 2009, the reason behind my action was to square up to the challenges of preserving the vision of the party.
“But, the reality is that the PDP has lost its soul. Those who call the shots now are not development-oriented and, therefore, uncomfortable with any progressive element and people-oriented ideas.”
Abubakar had on February 2, 2014, while announcing his defection from the PDP to the APC, listed some of the grievances he had against the PDP to include the refusal of the leadership of the party to listen to his numerous complaints.
He said, “Sadly, the PDP continues to be beset with many crises, mostly leadership-induced crises.
“We have, therefore, concluded that the party (PDP) cannot be redeemed. In short, the PDP has abandoned Nigerians, the very people who gave it life and many electoral victories.
“It has since lost touch with Nigerians and efforts made by many well-meaning members and stakeholders to bring it back to the vision of its founders have been rebuffed.”