APC Convention: APC Convention Buhari Foresees Opposition Victory

APC Convention: APC Convention Buhari Foresees Opposition Victory
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  • Says party going through tough times
  • February convention hangs in the balance
  • ’I am not a kingmaker’
  • Nigerians will reject your party in 2023, PDP tells President

Caleb Ishaya

As the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, convention controversy continues, President Muhammadu Buhari has further confirmed that all is not well with the APC leading to the February convention.

The president during an interview section with the Nigerian Television Authority yesterday in Abuja has predicted without mincing words that the ruling party might lose the 2023 general election if the party didn’t put their house in order by organizing a free, fair and credible national convention.

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According to Mr President; “If our ruling party the APC did not put their house in order, resolve the conflicts rocking the party, the opposition would take over in the 2023 presidential election”.

The President made this assertion in an interview aired by Nigerian television Authority NTA, yesterday said the same mistake was made by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that was then the ruling party and that led to their defeat in 2015 and this will happen to the APC in 2023 if the party cannot put its house in order and the opposition PDP will take over government.

“ This unresolved crisis made parties come together to form the APC. He went further to say that the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, All Nigeria Peoples Party ,ANPP, All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, came together to form the APC and the party defeated the PDP in the 2015 general elections.  This was because the PDP didn’t put their house in order and the APC should learn from them.

Speaking further of position regarding the situations in the party. Buhari agreed that the APC is facing tough times ahead of the convention.

Buhari said” My position is simple, I think I succeeded in trying to get my position understood in the sense that we start from bottom upward, from polling unit to ward to local government to state and then to Abuja  because I’m concerned about my party.

“The party in all constituencies should know that oppositions are coming up and therefore, when it comes to Abuja they are likely to work together. There are no kingmakers from Abuja, no constituency is being dictated upon, all constituencies are supposed to produce their leadership in our party”.

“What other parties  are  doing is their own business but we want to make sure that our party members understand they are respected. So those who want to be elected at any level let them work for it. Nobody is going to appoint anybody”, he said.

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Further aligning with what President Buhari said about the party facing tough times were the actions of party members who have been moving contrary to the Mai Mala Buni Extra Ordinary Caretaker Committee making every effort to thwart the plans of the committee.

Recently the ruling APC Progressives Governor Forum Director-General Salihu Lukman, has warned against any move to postpone the convention schedule for February 5,2022.

Lukman  in an open letter, to the ruling party leaders, noted  that, “There are indications that the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, is bent on staying put in office beyond the scheduled date for convention”.

Speculations are rife  about the convention not holding in February following a letter written by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu to Buni led committee , dated December 13, 2021, asking the party to postpone the convention. Lukman in his letter warned the party leaders of impending danger should the Buni led committee postpone the convention.

The former Abia State governor was said to have suggested that instead of the February 2022 convention, ‘a simultaneous event,’ combining ‘presidential primary and election of National Working Committee members’ should hold ‘on the same day and venue to avoid rancour and litigations.

You would recall that the APC had in the past year 2021 shifted their national convention twice. In fact after the 2019 national convention, the ruling party has found it very difficult to organise another national convention.

Reports have it that the last ward, local and state conventions brought so much disunity among party faithful leading to many factions. It reported that about 9 states were enmeshed in crisis, party bigwigs also have squabbles . And this has led to the postponement of the national convention dates to try as possible to settle the crisis among party members.

Few days ago, the Senator  Abdullahi  Adamu  led reconciliation committee  celebrated victory in Gombe as the committee reconciled the former Governor of Gombe Danjuma Goje and the incumbent Governor Yahaya Inuwa. Apart from the Gombe victory, there are more than ten bigwigs to reconcile and this might be an alibi to postpone the February convention.

On who will likely succeed him in 2023 to fly the party flag; Buhari in his reply said that “ I am not a ‘King Maker’. I don’t really care who succeeds me. I had contested thrice and the fourth I won by God’s Grace. I think anyone that wants to succeed me should be ready to prepare and sell himself to the party and Nigerians.

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Meanwhile the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has reacted differently over President Buhari’s interview lately. The PDP urged President Muhammadu Buhari to end his thoughts of a successor as Nigerians will firmly resist any candidate put forward by him and his All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2023 Presidential election.

The PDP also berated President Buhari for allegedly embarrassing his office and making a huge joke of himself by appearing confused and dwelling on false figures and performance claims in his Channels Television interview aired on Wednesday, January 5.

A statement signed by Mr Debo Ologunagba, the party’s National Publicity Secretary yesterday added that, “While we understand that lying is the standard gauge of performance of the APC, it is rather unfortunate that the President is also in that frame.

“It only reinforces the fact that nobody is immune to lying in the APC. Of course, he cannot extricate himself because lying is the official policy of his party, the APC”.

The PDP described it as ludicrous attempt to rationalize what it called Buhari’s failures in office, where the president “falsely claimed that under the PDP, from 1999 to 2014, crude oil sold for an average of $100 per barrel but collapsed to $37 per barrel when he and his APC assumed office.”

The party noted that such false claims fly in the face of hard facts as the records, which the President must have, clearly showed that when the PDP took office in May 29, 1999 crude oil sold at $16.27 per barrel and at about $80.42 and $63.28 by November and December 2014 respectively.

According to the PDP, under President Buhari and the APC, oil price has never fallen as low as $16 per barrel as recorded under the PDP but started at $37 to $39.44 per barrel in 2016 and had continued to hover between $60 to $70 per barrel to date.

Saying that it is on record that despite the low oil revenue when the PDP took over, it expanded the economy, paid off the country’s foreign debts, revamped the productive sectors, provided conducive investment environment which encouraged massive foreign investments and handed over a $550 billion economy (largest in Africa and 26th globally) to President Buhari and the APC in 2015.

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The statement accused the President Buhari of having no answers during the Channels TV interview, he was confronted with the facts that when he took over, the debt stock was N12 trillion but now N32 trillion and counting; that inflation, which was about 9% under the PDP is now over 15%; that unemployment rate, which was about 8.9% is now 33%, that our naira which exchanged at about N197 to a dollar under the PDP is now over N500 and that the petrol price which was N87 in 2015 is now N165 per liter under the APC watch.

President Buhari “should have taken the opportunity provided by Channels TV to show remorse, apologise to Nigerians for his monumental failure and national embarrassment that the APC government represents instead of trying to rationalise APC’s failures with falsehood and grandstanding about a successor.

The mindset of the “President as exhibited in the Channels TV interview confirms the fears of Nigerians that the APC does not believe in democratic practice and is determined to manipulate the 2023 election by all means”.

That explains, “Their desperation to scuttle the Electoral Act Amendment Bill provision for electronic transmission of election results, which will effectively truncate the APC’s plans to rig the 2023 election”.

The Publicity Secretary, however, said that the President and the APC must know that Nigerians have fully rallied on the platform of the PDP to face them in 2023 and that the resort to underhand processes and false indices like those reeled out by the President in his Channels TV interview will not avail them. It is on record that the PDP was rejected by Nigerians in the 2015 general elections owing to perceived abysmal performance orchestrated by insecurity, inflation that was adjudged very high coupled with the campaign of massive corruption and looting of public funds.

Also lack of internal party democracy, and the irreconcilable differences among party faithful.

Aljazirahnews


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