Controversy over Atiku’s role in PDM ahead of 2019
Speaking to The Guardian, Yusuf said that before his removal some members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party informed him of Atiku’s plot.
But a source close to Atiku, who pleaded anonymity, described Yusuf’s allegation as cheap blackmail saying, “Atiku Abubakar is stakeholder in the All Progressives Congress (APC). He has no business with PDM because he is a loyal APC man. It is of no gain for Yusuf to try to drag Atiku into his problem.”
Yusuf said, “I have it on good authority before now that Atiku has plotted for my removal to enable him take over the party structure for his 2019 presidential ambition. So I am not bothered about it because I am not contesting any election.
“There is no doubt that Atiku has played a role in keeping the party afloat since it was registered, but his decision to take it forcefully to contest 2019 presidency is very unfortunate. Is it because it has become obvious to him that he will not get the APC ticket in 2019 again? Posterity will judge him.”
On his relationship with Atiku before now, Yusuf said he has not spoken with him since 2015, “after I advised him not run for the presidency, seeing that he has no chances of winning it. I am actually tired of being the party chairman because I have been using my personal money to run the affairs of the party.
“But there is a constitutional way of removing me. Whoever thinks he can remove me through hostile means would not succeed. I can’t stop people from joining the party but it can be done through persuasive means instead of adopting the hostile approach.”
Already, the chairman of the newly constituted caretaker committee of the party, Alhaji Manir Garba Waziri has expressed readiness to welcome Atiku into the fold of the party.
While speaking with reporters in Abuja, Waziri said his position was based on the fact that Atiku shares the same political ideology with the PDM, which places emphasis on the entrenchment of democratic governance in the country.
But Waziri who was responding to a question as to whether the PDM could be linked to Atiku faulted such notion, adding that it was trite knowledge that Atiku is still an integral member of the ruling APC.
Secretary of the committee, Ifeanyi Igwe, who echoed Waziri’s statement said, “You all know that the PDM is a political movement which had been on for the past 25 years. We regard Atiku as part of that movement. But the movement is separate from PDM formed just three years ago. Atiku is not a member of our party, but if he decides to register tomorrow, we would be glad to receive him.”
Waziri who spoke on the outcome of the PDM National Executive Council (NEC) meeting disclosed that among others, it was resolved that the Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim led-principal officers of the party be dissolved with immediate effect.