One of Atiku Abubakar’s daughters has said she has not followed the former vice president to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP).
Fatima Atiku-Abubakar, a medical doctor and Adamawa State Commissioner for Health, told online medium, Premium Times, she is currently preoccupied with the duties of the state.
“I have not resigned and I am performing my duties as the representative of the Governor on all health matters in the state,” Ms. Atiku-Abubakar said in a text message Wednesday morning.
Fatima, 45, is the first child of Abubakar and was appointed commissioner in August 2015.
Her rebuttal comes a day after The Sun Newspaper reported that Ms. Atiku-Abubakar had stepped down from Governor Jibrilla Bindow’s cabinet with seven other commissioners.
The paper further reported that the officials resigned because of their loyalty to the former vice president.
But at least two out of the eight commissioners mentioned disclosed that they have not resigned.
Yayaji Mijinyawa, the commissioner for land and survey who was listed amongst those that purportedly resigned, also said he hasn’t resigned.
“It’s not true,” the official said in a text Tuesday afternoon.
On Sunday, Abubakar returned to the PDP for the third time since 2007 when he left the party after serving eight years on its platform as a vice-president.
The move came a little over a week after he resigned from the All Progressives Congress.
He is expected to slug it out with President Buhari in 2019, if the incumbent’s recent signals of a possible re-election bid take hold.
The development has triggered speculation of a looming mass defection from APC, especially amongst Abubakar’s loyalists. The APC has, however, said no such mass defection will occur.
Abubakar himself had stated that many political heavyweights in the APC are already laying the groundwork for their resignation from the party, saying most are disillusioned with the Buhari administration.
Bindow, widely seen as Abubakar’s political protégé, told Premium Times that he has no immediate plans to follow the former vice president to the PDP.
But some of his commissioners may quit and decamp to the major opposition party as they have
already informed Abubakar of their intentions to resign, but the former vice-president advised them to remain in cabinet and keep earning their salaries, according to a source.
“He pointedly told them that there’s no need to be in a hurry to resign since campaign has not even started,” the source said.
“They currently earn more than N400,000 monthly and that’s not something they should forfeit when they don’t have something immediate to start doing.”