The electoral fortune of the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar suffered at the weekend when 10 support groups defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The groups also pledged support for the presidential aspiration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima.
A statement on Saturday by the North-West publicity secretary, Malam Musa Mailafiya Mada and spokesperson, APC North-west Presidential Campaign Council, Mohammed Lawal Shehu Mflash, idenfied the affected groups as: Atiku Support Organisation, PDP Transformation Ambassadors, Atiku Abubakar Kawai, PDP Mobilisers Initiative, Kasa Daya Al’umma Daya, Atiku/Okowo Frontiers Movement, G7 Business Community, Katsina Biyayya Forum, Atiku Women and Youth Initiative and Atiku Nigeria Transformation Ambassadors, among others.
The statement said Zamfara Governor, Bello Matawalle and the APC National Vice Chairman (North West), Salihu Moh Lukman, received the members of the support groups of PDP into the ruling party in the North-west zone in Gusau, Zamafara State Capital.
The statement reads: “Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state in his capacity as the Zonal Coordinator North-West of the Presidential Campaign Council together with APC National Vice Chairman North-west Vice of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Salihu Moh. Lukman spent hours receiving the PDP and Atiku support groups on Friday, November 25, 2022.
“These are groups who were committed to supporting the PDP and Alh. Atiku Abubakar won the 2023 Presidential elections but was not given the deserved recognition by both the PDP and Alh. Atiku Abubakar.
“The groups include Atiku Support Organization, PDP Transformation Ambassadors, Atiku Abubakar Kawai, PDP Mobilizers Initiative, Kasa Daya Al’umma Daya, Atiku/Okowo Frontiers Movement, G7 Business Community, Katsina Biyayya Forum, Atiku Women and Youth Initiative and Atiku Nigeria Transformation Ambassadors.
“These are groups that invested heavily in the Atiku project since 2015 but noting that poor relationship with both PDP and Alh. Atiku Abubakar compelled them to leave both the PDP and its Presidential candidate and declared their support for APC and its Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
The statement further said Matawalle told the decampees that “APC is the only party that uphold to the principles of power rotation, saying the highest justice to be done to the people of the South is to be able to shift power to their region so that justice and equality can be ensured.
“He urged them to uphold the commitment they have exhibited over the years for the victory of the APC and all its candidates at all levels.
He told the defectors Tinubu, APC has mapped out strategic development plans that would help consolidate the existing reforms under President Muhammad Buhari.”