The first major upset in Atiku Abubakar’s camp came to the fore at the weekend when, Jibrilla Bindow, Governor of the home state and protégé of the former vice president said he has no immediate plans to follow his mentor out of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC).
Bindow, as well as Aisha Alhassan, Minister of Women Affairs, who had since pledged loyalty to Atiku, among others, had been amongst the names of top APC defectors being bandied around in political grapevine.
However, the governor said his relationship with the former vice president would remain cordial and mutually beneficial for the foreseeable future.
“The governor was elected under the banner of APC and will continue to remain as APC governor,” Adamawa State Commissioner for Information, Ahmed Sajoh, told PREMIUM TIMES, an online medium, on Saturday.
Sajoh said the APC national leadership, which has reportedly been unsettled by Atiku’s exit Friday morning, should exercise no fear or apprehension.
Atiku did not immediately say which party he’ll move to next, but suggestions are rife that he had concluded plans to join the PDP, which has been openly courting him in recent months
The former Vice President, a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party, joined the APC in early 2014, barely a few months after the party was established to challenge the then-ruling APC.
The APC has welcomed the development, admitting on the one hand that Atiku’s exit was a big loss while recognising the politician’s rights to pursue his personal ambition on the other.
Meanwhile, Attahiru Bafarawa, former Governor of Sokoto State has said he has not reached a decision whether to run for the 2019 presidential election.
Bafarawa however noted that those already pressurising him and producing campaign posters suggesting that he was running were being mischievous as he has not authorised anybody to produce such materials on his behalf.
He said this in a statement he personally signed and issued in Abuja on Friday, stressing that he was still consulting with his family, friends and political associates on his political ambition.
He said he has been informed of some people who wanted him to contest the presidential primaries of the Party and “have printed posters and produced other campaign materials with his name and photographs.”
While appreciating to those doing the campaign on his behalf, Bafarawa said he would communicate his decision to Nigerians in a public forum if and when he decides to contest the 2019 presidential election.
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