By Ayobami Olopade
It was not surprising on Friday when former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar was diplomatic in stating that “I belong to democracy” while refusing to declare his position as to whether he remains a member of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) or he has defected, like some other New PDP members, to the All Progressives Congress(APC).
Atiku, who was speaking with newsmen in Ado-Ekiti after paying a courtesy call on Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, welcomed the merger of the New PDP and the APC saying that it would help the government’s democracy to thrive.
“I welcome the merger. It is good for democracy,” he said.
The staunch advocate of two-party system continued, “I have always supported a two party system and I think we are eventually moving towards that two-party system, two strong parties, not one mighty big one and very weak small ones.”
It would be recalled that Atiku was a frontliner among the PDP stalwarts and the seven governors who staged a walk out during the PDP convention earlier this year and declared the New PDP faction.
Five of the New PDP governors have defected to the APC along with other bigwigs. When pressed to declare his alignment; whether to the PDP or the APC, Atiku was evasive saying, “I belong to democracy, even during the military, I stood for democracy and I fought. I am a true democrat.”
Governor Fayemi, while commenting on Atiku’s visit stated, “He has always been a leader I admire and have had very good relationship with him so I am not surprised that he stopped by. Anything that can deepen democracy in this country, you will find me standing on the side of democrats. There is no question that former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has demonstrated that he is not a fake democrat. He has consistently stood with the people even against all machinations and there is no question that he believes in this country. Anyone that is a democrat, who believes in Nigeria, is my friend.
“The former vice president is one whose allegiance is very flexible given his antecedents; switching from PDP to Action Congress to realise his Presidential ambition and then switching back to PDP as well as spearheading the formation of New PDP, so it would not be surprising if and when he eventually declares his stand, whatever that is.”