President Buhari has urged the leaders of the APC to learn from PDP’s fall from power, following the crisis bedevilling the party.
- Buhari said they must put their house in order immediately as the party’s national convention approaches.
EKO HOT BLOG reports that President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday warned leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to learn from the intra-party crisis that brought about the fall of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 elections.
It is imperative for them, he said, to put their house in order immediately as the party’s national convention approaches.
Party members have been enmeshed in a fierce battle for the soul of the party as they seek or position their candidates for elective offices during the convention scheduled for March 26 in Abuja.
Only last Wednesday, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State announced that 19 state governors in the party had endorsed the removal of Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni as national chairman of the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
El-Rufai accused him of taking some actions that constituted a threat to the planned convention and party cohesion.
He cited an interim court order obtained by an aggrieved party member to stop the convention but which Buni allegedly kept away from other party members and did nothing to vacate it.
The party is now in the process of vacating the court order.
The APC also said on Friday that Buni remained in office as Chairman of the CECPC.
The President is currently in London where he has been receiving briefings on preparations for the convention.
Speaking on the situation in the party yesterday through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, Buhari said political parties that allow dissenting egos to splinter their ranks are bound to suffer the worst sort of fates.
“The APC rank and file, he said, should desist forthwith from name-calling and backstabbing.
He also urged them to remain steadfast and maintain the party’s unity if it must continue on the path of victory.
Calling attention to the fate of the PDP in the 2015 elections, Buhari said the once-powerful party was now enfeebled and adrift.
”They failed in 16 years in power and a failure as opposition,” he said and asked APC members to learn from that.
Continuing, he said: ”Yes, we are entitled to our own share of dissent and intra-party discord. These are common in all parties, left and right all over the world.
But parties splintered by competing egos destine themselves to the worst possible fate.
”As the country prepares for the long run-up to the 2023 presidential election, we all expect a robust debate on the issues that matter and what is going on in the APC should be a reflection of this; not the infighting we are seeing. There must be no more distractions ahead of the convention to choose new leaders.”
He added: “This is a party that has been in existence barely for eight years, becoming the dominant party because it has thrown open its doors to defectors from other parties, big and small.
“We didn’t start on the note of arrogance of power, nor see government as a vehicle for self-aggrandizement, to be held at all costs, but a vehicle to bring development to all without discrimination-political, ethnic or regional to our dear country made this success possible.”
He said the APC is proud of the fact that “in its short period of existence, it has won two general elections decisively and despite losing a few states in 2019, it steadfastly expanded its pan-Nigerian outlook with significant defections of opposition governors and parliamentarians into its fold.
“Given all that is at a stake, we can expect contests into offices as we are now faced with to be heated, although candidates and their promoters for party offices are not so much debating policy differences but differences of management, personality, character and suitability for the most important leadership roles in our country and therefore the continent.
“It is equally clear that over the last week or so, the internal management affairs of the APC have been afforded generous media coverage – over and above its importance to the voters of Nigeria.
“It is important to ask what benefits the poor are getting during the period of intense negative coverage.
When precisely the party’s convention is held and who is the party’s chairman is hardly a matter for the average voter: vastly more important is who convention delegates will elect as the party’s flag bearer in the coming weeks to take forward the party’s platform to the people in the general election in February next year.
“It is therefore important for the media to put such matters into perspective. No one is debating policy differences here. That is for the general election. None of the declared aspirants and any of those that may step forward will change because of who may be in the party in the chairman’s seat. It is essentially the same party.
“Of course, the media are welcome to comment on the content of the character of the potential APC candidates, discuss their suitability for leadership, scrutinise their offer to the membership. But to focus on the routine internal divisions and magnify them into what they have become today is a waste of everyone’s time, amounting to no more than a discussion over seating arrangements.
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