By Ehi Ekhator, Sri Lanka
The leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) visited the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar at his Abuja private residence on Wednesday.
The meeting with Atiku was said to have lasted for over an hour, and the APC leaders described the visit as the party continual visit to consult the past leaders of the nation.
Those that met with the former vice president included the former head of state; Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), the National Leader of the APC; Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the party’s interim National Chairman; Chief Bisi Akande.
The meeting comes as a follow up on the recent defection of 37 members of the ruling party (PDP) in the house of representatives to APC.
Atiku spoke with journalists immediately after the meeting; he said that the discussion was fruitful, he added that two party system is what he had always wanted.
The former Vice President added that the nation need APC to strengthen democracy as it would give Nigerians room to make a choice in 2015 general elections.
His words: “We want to let you know that we had very fruitful discussions and you know I have always believed in a two party structure.
“So I welcome the formation of APC. We have discussed extensively and I will meet with my political associates and friends.
“Most of us have been friends and political associates for over two decades. I will call my stakeholders across the country. We will take a decision and address the press and let you know our decision.
“I congratulated them (APC leaders) and welcomed them because it will improve competition and governance. It is healthy for our democracy.
“Once you have one very strong party and weak ones, there is no way the opposition can check the government in power.
“If the South Africans faced apartheid in the past, Nigeria is facing colonialism. The struggle has been long for the enthronement of democracy in our country.
“It is time we realised we have responsibility to our generation and those yet unborn. I think it (APC) will give Nigerians an alternative during elections. So I told them I will consult with my associates and brief the press later.”
Chief Akande, who led the parry’s delegation, said the visit was to cement a long standing political relationship with Atiku spanning more than two decades.
“We feel that it is necessary to meet people of like minds to rise up and salvage the country. All of us that met here were comrades in politics.
“We only met today to cement that comradeship and all is well cemented. We are moving together to work for this country,” Akande said.
The APC leadership also revealed that they are planning to meet with the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo which was an indication that the visit to Atiku was to woo him to the party.
“We have the intention of meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo as soon as he is available so that we will tell him how we evolve APC.
“And then, we will ask for his understanding and cooperation. This is what we have been doing,’’ Buhari said.