The former vice president Atiku Abubakar reportedly said that President Goodluck Jonathan repeatedly asked to him to leave the All Progressives Congress (APC) and return to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Premium Times reports.
During an interview with the Hausa service of the BBC, the former VP said the president pleaded with him three times, once during a surprise midnight visit to his house.
Atiku also explained why he has not been very visible in the campaign rallies of his party’s presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
He said he turned down the personal request of President Jonathan to return to the PDP on three separate occasions. "The last was in Abuja last Friday when the President paid me a surprise midnight visit," he said.
Reportedly, on that day he received speaker Aminu Tambuwal and ex-military leader, Ibrahim Babangida, and they held fruitful discussions.
“In the evening I went to bed early, but at around 12 am, I was told the president was in my sitting room, so I came down and after exchanging pleasantries, I asked him to what I deserved such a visit and he said he just came back to still plead with me for support,” Atiku said.
“He said I need to go back to the PDP because we built the party and we are its founding fathers, and that we needed to go back and rebuild it. I told him this is the third time you are asking me to return to the PDP and my answer has always been the same; I am not going back,” Atiku added.
On speculations that the president also suggested an interim government to the former vice president, Abubakar said the matter never came up.
He also said: “He did not bring it up, and I also did not. We just spoke about politics and the security situation in the country.”