The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress and former governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu, has said that those who defected from the APC or joined it had rights to do so.
Tinubu made the statement while speaking with political correspondents on the defection of Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Attahiru Bafarawa from APC to PDP.
Shekarau, a former governor of Kano State, and Bafarawa, also a former governor of Sokoto State, had recently defected to the PDP, while former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar left the PDP for the APC.
Tinubu, who was in Ikeja to register officially as a member of the APC in his ward, said he respects Bafarafa and Shekarau, adding that they had the right to join any party.
“Anyone can defect from a party if its doctrine is no longer acceptable to him. We cannot stop them. We lost some members and we have also gained many,” he said.
On Abubakar’s defection, Tinubu said the APC was an all-embracing party.
“Abubakar is my friend and brother. We had our disagreements but it is wrong to allow personal disagreements to becloud one’s sense of judgment.
“If you realise that you have taken a wrong step, you can reverse it. There is no prejudice against his returning. Abubakar has learnt from history and he is back.”
According to him, in judging a man, there is need to look at his antecedents.
“Although Abubakar was to be picked as running mate to late MKO Abiola under the defunct Social Democratic Party, he was later dropped but he did not leave.
“He stayed to work to make sure Abiola won. You cannot erase that part of his behaviour as you evaluate the present,” Tinubu said.
Meanwhile, Gov. Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and Abubakar, on Wednesday, formally obtained their APC membership cards.
Nyako and Abubakar registered at their respective wards in Mayo-Belwa and Jada local government areas of Adamawa.
The duo urged other party supporters to ensure that they participated in the registration.
The APC chieftains who were registered by the National Registration Officer of the party in Adamawa, Musa Umar, described the exercise as a giant step in the move by the party to consolidate its rising popularity in the country.
Abubakar said, “Today, I have registered with the APC as the party that will salvage the nation.
“I call on party members and my supporters in other political parties to go and register with the APC.’’
On his part, Nyako said, “I want to call on all Nigerians to join us in this great movement because with this development, PDP is dead in Adamawa State.”
Many APC supporters who trooped out to register were disappointed because of delay in the arrival of materials.