*Accuse PDP candidate of negligence, lack of focus
Tom Okpe, AbujaNot less than145 Support Groups of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday dumped him defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate, Muhammadu Buhari accusing their former principal of negligence, lack of focus, nepotism and other charges. They were received at a ceremony in Abuja by the Chairman, Central Working Committee (CWC) of the APC Women and Youth Presidential Campaign Team, Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa (rtd), former Inspector General of Police IGP, Suleiman Abba, former Deputy Governor of Plateau state, Dame Pauline Tallen and some members of the Presidential Campaign Council. Some of the groups according to the organizers of the event include Atiku Reloaded, Atiku Support Group, Unique Women for Atiku, Dynamic Women for Atiku, United Group for Atiku, Grassroots Initiative for Atiku and Edo Ambassadors for Atiku among others. Coordinator of the groups, Com. Bello Osaretin Godspower said the groups had in November last year took the decision to dump Atiku saying: “Recalled that on the 27th of November, 2018 at a location in the heart of Abuja, we the disgruntled members of Atiku Campaign Office took a milestone decision to dump Atiku Abubakar Presidential Project on the platform of PDP after a convincing consultation with relevant stakeholders vis-a-viz other considerable factors. “Our despondency was borne out of Atiku Abubakar’s disdainful treatment on support groups, which snowballed into neglect, nepotistic deployment, use and dump style coupled with lack of direction and reward management system made worse by the infusion and infiltration of people with questionable character into his campaign train, who were once upon a time responsible for the rape of the Nigerian state and were also found with the culture of gross impunity and social recklessness in the society. “Today, the 10th of February, 2019, we as members of Aggrieved Atiku Support Groups Coalition warehousing over 145 formidable organizations united together and stronger in one voice, officially denounce Atiku Abubakar’s Presidential ambition and make a formal declaration to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid come February 16, 2019”, he added. Godspower also dismissed reports that the groups had returned to the Atiku fold, saying there was no going back. Receiving the groups, Gen. Marwa said he has the permission of the Chairperson of the Campaign team, Hajia Aisha Buhari to ensure the full integration of the groups into the campaign structure. “We welcome you with open arms. This is like a train about leaving the station and you were able to get on board before it goes. You have come on board at the right time and your votes will count. We acknowledged your show of support”, he added.