Friday, 16 August 2013

# Africa News # Atiku Abubakar

Ex-Vice Pres. Atiku confirms friends’ involvement in registering PDM

 
Ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said while he remains a loyal member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, he does not have the right or power to stop others from associating or seeking registration for new political parties.

The former VP stated this in a press statement by his spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday.

Atiku said the statement became necessary following inquiries on whether he was leaving the party with some other people to form a new one.

On the move to register the Peoples Democratic Movement as a political party, the former VP said he would always welcome the expansion of the political space to accommodate all shades of opinions or political hue. Continue...
Atiku admitted that many of his political associates were involved in the registration process of the PDM.

He described freedom of association, as enshrined in the Constitution, as the beauty of democracy and that he would not dissuade any of his followers from seeking a platform to promote their programmes.

Atiku became the leader of the PDM following the death of the founder, Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who was the second-in-command to Olusegun Obasanjo as the military Head of State between 1976 and 1979.

Atiku’s political foray, leading to his governorship victory in Adamawa State in 1999 and his subsequent choice as the running mate to Obasanjo in the 1999 presidential election, was based on the strength of the then PDM.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday refuted a publication in a national newspaper  that Atiku and nine PDP governors were floating a political party.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, also denied ever confirming the registration of any new party, saying “I never said such a thing.”

According to him, the question asked by the reporter on the telephone was that if there was any pending application for party registration in the Commission, adding, “I confirmed that an application, as always, is pending.”

He said, “Please note: He (the Reporter) mentioned no name of any particular group (because he confessed he didn’t even have it) or the promoters. INEC, by law, receives applications for party registration and treats them on individual merit.

“It makes no public issue of the party identity or their promoters. For the avoidance of doubt, I did not discuss any party identity or promoters with the Reporter because he didn’t have enough information to provide such detail in his enquiry.”

Source: PUNCH

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