President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sympathised with the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, over the exit of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar from the party.
Buhari chose the venue of the inauguration of the Ama Pepple-led National Minimum Wage Committee to convey his sympathy to the party chairman who joined top government officials for the event.
The President made his position known while acknowledging dignitaries that attended the event ahead of his remarks.
Turning to Odigie-Oyegun, Buhari said, “Accept my sympathy for losing a senior member of your party.”
Although he did not mention a name, it was obvious that the President was referring to Atiku who announced his resignation from the APC on Friday.
The former vice-president was one of those who contested the party’s presidential ticket ahead of the 2015 general elections and lost to Buhari.
He came a distant third behind Buhari and a former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Buhari and his spokesmen had avoided speaking on Atiku’s exit since the news broke on Friday.
Before making his position public on Friday, Atiku had resigned from the APC since October 18, 2017.
In his resignation letter, the former vice-president said he left the APC because he could not “reconcile” himself with the ruling party’s dismal performance.
The resignation letter was addressed to the ward chairman of the APC in Jada 1, Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
The letter, which was titled ‘resignation,’ was received by Usman Muazu.
The letter dated October 18, 2017, read in part, “I wish to inform you of my decision to resign my membership of the All Progressives Congress in this ward with effect from the date of this letter.
“I’m resigning from a party we formed and worked so hard, with fellow compatriots across the country, to place in government.
“I had hope that the APC government would make improvements to the lives of our people and the continued existence and development of Nigeria as one indivisible nation. This hope has now been dashed.
“I’m unable to reconcile myself with the dismal performance of the party in government, especially in relation to the continued polarisation of our people along the ethnic and religious lines, which is threatening our unity more than any other time in the recent past, and the unbearable hardship that our people are currently undergoing.
“Let me emphasise again that this is not about me. We have to have a country before people can aspire to lead it.
“While wishing you well, let me express the hope that in the near future, a substantial number of you will join forces with us to, once again, defeat impunity, and restore vision and purpose to the politics of our great country.”Punch