The senior presidency officials said to be close to President Goodluck Jonathan expressed joy over the news that Atiku submitted his letter resigning his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Adamawa State chairman of the party in Jada II, Jada Local Government Area of the state.
The letter was also copied to the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu.
In his resignation letter obtained, the former vice-president wrote: “I write to formally inform you of my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) effective February 3, 2014. The attached press statement that was issued today outlines my reasons for resigning from the PDP.”
Reacting, a senior presidency official who does not want to be mentioned said that Atiku’s departure was good riddance to an ambitious man, adding, “It is a sigh of relief. We are indeed relieved over his resignation. With Atiku out of the way, the presidential ticket is for President Jonathan for the asking.
“We saw him as a pain in our neck as far as the presidential primary election of the PDP is concerned. But thank God, he is no more with us. Let him go.”
A top member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP also expressed his delight over Atiku’s defection, saying: “Gradually, the troublemakers are going one by one and we will now sit down and restructure PDP and reposition it for the 2015 general election.
“You cannot go to war with a divided house and it is our expectation that with Atiku out, let the APC see what we have been tolerating for a long time.”
The Adamawa State chapter of the party, nonetheless, said the former vice-president’s defection to APC would have no effect on the fortunes of the PDP.
A PDP stakeholder in the state, Dr. Omar Ardo, in a statement, said: “Given the dynamics of Adamawa State politics, today and in the foreseeable future, the convergence of Nyako and Atiku in the APC cannot upstage the strong support base of the PDP in the state.
“I can confidently say on behalf of the Adamawa State PDP stakeholders and elders forum that the PDP in Adamawa is not at all intimidated by the defection of the former vice-president to the APC. As far as we are concerned, in this state, PDP dey kampe!”
Despite the satisfaction expressed by the presidency and PDP, the former vice-president yesterday explained that he did not join APC to run for the presidency in 2015 but to nurture the opposition party and ensure that good governance is entrenched in Nigeria come 2015.