‘Time to take a stand in Nigeria’s interest’, says Atiku as he joins PDP

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Atiku Abubakar ex Vice President on Sunday afternoon officially announced his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr. Atiku announced this Live on Facebook, sayinig his decision was arrived at after consultation wth party leaders across the country.

Untill December 24, Atiku was a member of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress to which the party had said he would not be missed and not scared. According to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufa, had also said that “no single” governor would follow the former VC to PDP, including the governor of his (Atiku) state .

He read a statement live on Facebook and photographs later distributed by the Atiku Media Office showed the former Vice President fiddling with his smartphone as he responded to questions from his Facebook followers.

Atiku left PDP four years ago, the party on whose platform he was a Vice to President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 to 2007.

He said he was returning to PDP because he issues which made him left the party four years ago has now resolved. According to him, that same problem now dominates APC.

Atiku, who is very active in the social media, including Twitter has 580,111 people following him on Facebook. On Twitter, he has 1.06m followers, which is below the fan base of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who has 1.32m followers on Twitter alone. He has another 432,000 on Facebook, about 150,000 lower than Atiku’s fan base.

On Twitter, Atiku told his followers to check him out on Facebook as he was ‘making an important announcement”.

The live announcement had garnered just 24,000 views at about 5pm.

Atiku’s statement read, “Hello, my name is Atiku Abubakar.

“I am speaking to you today on Facebook Live as I want to reach as many of our young people as possible as I have an important announcement to make about the future of Nigeria.

“As it is you, our youths, who represent the future of our nation.

“I have found in my travels across the country that whenever I get into conversations with young people their number one concern is whether they will be able to get a job for without a job they have no means of sustaining themselves or begin a family.

“And without the security of a job we cannot have security in our country.

“So without jobs there is no future for you or for Nigeria.

“And I also know as a parent that the older generation is also concerned about jobs for their children and, too often today, for themselves as well.

“Creating jobs is something I know about as I have created over 50,000 direct jobs and 250,000 indirect jobs in my own State of Adamawa.

“And I also know how the Government can help create the right environment for businesses to create jobs. When I was Vice President in 1999 I was responsible for liberalising the telecoms sector which enabled us to increase the number of people who could access a phone from less than 1 million then to over 100 million today.

“This transformation resulted in the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs from the top-up card vendors you see on every street corner to the many new businesses that fed off the mobile phone revolution.

“Some of you may know that I was elected Vice President under the banner of the PDP, which is the political party I had helped to found some ten years before.

“And some of you may also know that I left the PDP four years ago when I believed it was no longer aligned to the principles of equity, democracy and social justice upon which we had founded it.

“I joined the APC as I had hoped it would be the new force that would help improve life for our people and I was excited about the party’s manifesto to create 3 million new jobs a year.

“The result has not been the change people had been promised or voted for, as in the last two years almost 3 million Nigerians have lost their jobs.

“And today with a record 25% of people aged 18-25 unemployed I can see how difficult it is for our youths to find a job.

“The key to creating jobs is a strong economy and that is what we are currently lacking.

“So today I want to let you know that I am returning home to the PDP as the issues that led me to leave it have now been resolved and it is clear that the APC has let the Nigerian people, and especially our young people, down.”

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