Abuja, Nigeria : Former Nigeria Vice-President Atiku Abubakar said on Friday that he resigned from the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, (APC) , because the party had failed Nigerian youths.
Atiku announced on his website that the ruling APC was a dying party that never took youths into account.
He said the future belonged to young people and that he joined the APC to facilitate a bright future for the young and old.
“The party we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people, especially our young people; how can we have a federal cabinet without even one single youth.
“A party that does not take the youth into account is a dying party. The future belongs to young people.
“I admit that I and others, who accepted the invitation to join the APC, were eager to make positive changes for our country that we fell for a mirage.
“Can you blame us for wanting to put a speedy end to the sufferings of the masses of our people?’’
Atiku also hinged his resignation on fractionalisation of the APC, resulting from “arbitrariness and unconstitutionality” over the years.
He said it was for the same reason that he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2014.
“While other parties have purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalisation, the APC has adopted the same practices.
“It has even gone beyond them to institute a regime of a draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy within the party and the government it produced,” he added.
Atiku said that after due consultations, he had resigned from the APC to take time to ponder his future.
A spokesman later said that Abubakar, who was Nigeria’s vice president from 1999 to 2007 and has made numerous unsuccessful bids to become the country’s leader, “is prepared to run for the presidency in 2019”.
The former vice president’s departure is one of the first major fractures to emerge publicly in Buhari’s APC, formed from a coalition of smaller parties to contest the 2015 election against then-president Goodluck Jonathan.
Both major parties, the APC and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), are struggling to maintain their unity in the run-up to Nigeria’s next presidential elections in February 2019, according to party members and experts.
The APC was brought together chiefly to elect Muhammadu Buhari, who campaigned on a platform of reviving Nigeria’s flagging economy, wiping out the country’s endemic corruption and defeating Islamist campain militants in the northeast.
Buhari has not publicly said whether he will seek re-election in 2019, but some quarters in his administration have urged him not to do so, while many say he has told associates in private that he will run.
Muhammadu Buhari this year spent more than 150 days in London on two separate medical leaves, as he sought treatment for an unspecified illness.