The Peoples Democratic Party has reacted to the resignation of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the ruling All Progressives Congress, saying he is now a free man.
It, however, said it would not offer Atiku an automatic ticket to contest the 2019 presidential election.
The former ruling party also called on other members of the APC to leave, saying the day the ruling party was formed “remains a dark day in the history of Nigeria.”
The spokesperson for the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Friday.
“The PDP is a democratic party. If you come in, you are free to contest elections once you meet our constitutional requirements, but we can’t give our ticket to anybody like that,” Adeyeye said.
Adeyeye said that the PDP had the capacity to accommodate anybody who wanted to be a member or wanted to return, but said such return must be without any condition.
According to him, “The PDP has the capacity to accommodate everybody. Our doors are open to him (Atiku) to come back to his home without any precondition.
“He is free to come back like every other Nigerian and we want to appeal to those who have not seen the truth and we are praying that they will soon see the truth, so that the truth will set them free. And as soon as they are free, let them come back.”
Atiku, who was one of the founding fathers of the PDP, once contested and won election as the governor of Adamawa State on the platform of the PDP.
But before he was sworn in, he was nominated by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as his running mate and they were sworn in as President and Vice President on May 29, 1999. Again, they both ran in 2003.
Because of these facts, Adeyeye said Atiku remained a true PDP man to the core.
Adeyeye said it was unfortunate that in 2013, Atiku and others were deceived to leave the PDP, believing that there was a platform that would correct all the ills in the PDP and that it could create an Eldorado in Nigeria.
He said, “I believe Atiku and others were deceived because we had challenges in our party at that point in time, they went and joined the new party called the APC, which we have all now seen; every Nigerian has seen it’s a fallacy.
“The day APC was born marked a tragedy for Nigeria. It has been a monumental disaster for Nigeria. There is nothing progressive about them. Everything about them is unprogressive. Everything about them is a complete disaster.
“It is human to make mistakes because we are not infallible. We have no knowledge of what will happen in the future. Human beings can always be deceived. But in John 8:32, the Bible says ‘And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’
“I believe Atiku Abubakar has come to know the truth, like he said in the statement that he had now known the truth, that the APC is not what they call themselves, that it’s not a better platform. That platform is the worst platform in the history of politics in Nigeria.
“I believe that Atiku has seen the truth and the truth has now set him free and we thank God for that. Therefore, being a founding father and because we have an umbrella that is big enough to accommodate everybody, PDP is a democratic party. PDP is a free party and was conceived for all Nigerians and is free from all religious, ethnicity and geographical divisions.
“It has the capacity to accommodate everybody. Our doors are open for him to come back to his home without any precondition. He is free to come back like every other Nigerian and we want to appeal to those who have not seen the truth and we are praying that they will soon see the truth, so that the truth will set them free. And as soon as they are free, let them come back.”