The Atiku Effect has hit the APC in Adamawa State, north-eastern part of Nigeria with several politicians jumping ship to the opposing PDP.
Eight commissioners in the Senator Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow-led All Progressives Congress controlled state government have dumped the party, in support of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
The serving commissioners, who belong to Atiku’s camp, include Dr. Fatima Atiku Abubakar, commissioner of health, Commissioner of Works and Housing, Lilian Stephen, Commissioner of Land and Survey, Yayaji Mijinyawa and Commissioner of Youths and Sports, Mr Augustine Ayuba.
Others are Alhaji Daware, Commerce and Trade and Ahmadu Waziri, Agriculture. The decision of the commissioners to move out of the APC, with their principal, Atiku Abubakar, has totally crippled activities of the state government, in the last three weeks.
With that movement out of the APC, it means over half of the cabinet might have effectively pulled out of the state government.
What is not yet known is whether Bindow and his deputy, Martins Babale, would also eventually move out of the party. Atiku, who is also called Waziri Adamama, reportedly funded the governor’s 2015 governorship election.
This pitted most APCstakeholders against the governor as they accused him of being loyal to Atiku.
State Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Ibrahim Bilal, had, while endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 presidential race asked party members not comfortable with the decision to align themselves with the majority or opt out as the APC is interested in keeping a united front.
The call to shape-up or ship-out by Bilal has reportedly not gone down well with most state government officials, who allegedly belonged to Atiku’s platform.
Commissioner of Land and Survey, Alhaji Yayaji Mijinyawa, confirmed the movement out of the party, yesterday. Mijinyawa said his loyalty and others, as well, is to the former vice president.
“Waziri Atiku is our leader. Our associations with him dates back a long while. It would be childish for anybody to think we would go against him.
“Even if some of us are deserting the Waziri now, due to the pressure of office, definitely, you don’t expect his own daughter, Dr. Fatima, to desert him and remember, Waziri funded the campaign of this party in 2015, his funds brought this government to power.”
Adamawa state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Abba T. Shehu, confirmed arrangements to receive the defectors. Shehu said Atiku’s pulling out of the APC will ground the party in the North East.