It appears all the APC Governors from the South West; Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) have been publicly silent and have avoided reacting directly to the defection of former Vice President – Atiku Abubakar, including Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), who is seen to be Buhari’s strongest ally in the region.
However – it must be put on record that Amosun had earlier addressed the issue of the women affairs minister Aisha Alhassan’s endorsement of Atiku and called for her resignation at the time.
The silent APC Governors outside the SW include: Kashim Shettima (Borno), Obaseki (Edo), Badaru (Jigawa), Bagudu (Kebbi), Sani Bello (Niger), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo) who has backed Buhari but insisted that there can’t an automatic ticket for the President.
The others include Gov. Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) State and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) – the duo have been subject of rumours and speculations linking them with a return to the PDP alongside the former VP.
See the reactions of six governors in quotes:
Nasir Elrufai, Governor of Kaduna State
“I have heard about what the former Vice President said about leaving the APC. We knew he was going to leave in December, he has left in November which is good. The earlier he leaves for where he belongs, the better. He has changed political parties a few times, there is nothing surprising. Before the 2019 elections, if situations change and he thinks that he can get the ticket in APC, he will come back. That is what he has done a few times.’’ No one has driven him out of the party. The APC is an equal opportunity platform for everyone. In his statement of leaving APC, he made reference to the memo I wrote Mr President in September 2016, where I was calling on the President to reach out to party leaders that feel aggrieved and I mentioned him and many others. But all the others are still in the APC because they believe in the direction of the party, they believe that we have come to save the country from a very bad situation.”
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Governor of Kano state
“Atiku has his own freedom to choose whichever political party he wants to belong. He defected to the PDP. He was in the PDP before and another party, too. So, it is not surprising if he decided to go to another party.
Jibrilla Bindow, Governor of Adamawa state
“Let me talk about Atiku first before myself. The former vice president is more than matured enough to decide whatever he wants to decide for himself.
“As far as I am concerned, I am one of the founding fathers of APC. When I was in the Senate, we were the ones, alongside the current Senate President that worked very hard to ensure that all members of the National Assembly; that we agreed to move to APC.
“So, I cannot see any reason why, today, that the House I built, that I will leave. So, I am in APC for the rest of my life, period.”
Aminu Masari, Governor of Katsina state
“For those of them leaving the party, it is good riddance to bad rubbish. Let them go. Even here, locally, we have them but we can deal with them.
It is not good enough for somebody to enter his room and start talking . Let us come out and face the people. “This government is ready, willing and prepared to face anybody and account for our stewardship anytime and anywhere.
“Stay away from those enemies of the people who are masquerading as if they like or they are for the people.
“They were once in a position to salvage the situation but they misused the opportunities. Don’t look at what they are doing today.”
Simon Lalong, Governor of Plateau State
“We reached out to Atiku while building the APC structure in Plateau and received some help from him, but my loyalty is with the APC. My loyalty is with President Buhari and my people have endorsed him for a second term. “Whatever happens in another party does not concern me. We are only waiting for the APC National Convention to endorse Buhari for a second tenure,”
Samuel Ortom, Benue State Governor
We are in a free world, we are in democratic dispensation and democracy entails freedom of movement, freedom of speech and freedom of association. As a politician, I am aware that in the game of politics, there is no permanent enemy, no permanent friend but permanent interest, so it is where your interest lies that you go”.
“Let me assure you that the exit of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from our party will in no way affect the chances of APC in Benue and Nigeria as a whole come 2019”.
“We are united, we are still committed to the objectives of the APC and we are working, people are seeing and the party is getting stronger just as you can see more people defecting from other political parties into our party”.
“In Benue State here, members of the state House of Assembly and the National Assembly had defected from PDP to APC and in several other states of the federation. So the APC is waxing stronger, we are confident that come 2019, we will bounce back because we are committed to getting Nigeria out of the woods”. “As for Atiku Abubakar, he has the freedom, it’s not a crime to leave one party to another after all, I also was in PDP but had to join the APC and I am here today”.