- President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a strong warning to key members of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
- The president warned the governors and leaders of the ruling party to desist from backstabbing each other
- According to President Buhari, parties splintered by competing egos ar only headed for the worst especially with the 2023 general election drawing near
President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned members of the Progressive Governors and other leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) against backstabbing their Colleague, ahead of the March 26 national convention.
The president obviously referred to the recent outing in the media by some governors who resorted to name-calling and use of unprintable words against one of their own, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
Buni is the current chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), who is embattled over his stance on various issues concerning the party including the APC national convention.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, had on Wednesday, during a Channel Television program, lambasted Buni for working to scuttle the proposed national convention of the party.
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Arakunri Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor of Ondo state also took his turn, referring to some governors and other supporters of Buni as "Yahoo Yahoo Boys".
In a strong-worded statement through the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, on Saturday, March 12, said Buhari had warned of the consequences of such an outing in the media by leaders of the party.
"President Muhammad Buhari warns the leaders (and membership) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to desist from name-calling and backstabbing ahead of the oncoming March 26 convention, remain steadfast and maintain its unity if the party is to continue in the path of victory and its dominance at all levels throughout the country."
The president also drew the attention of the governors to the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that was in power for 16 years, to learn from their activities.
"President Buhari asks the members to look at the once-powerful, ''main opposition'' Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) now enfeebled and adrift and learn lessons in disunity, mismanagement and corruption."
Shehu noted that the president also warned that parties splintered by competing egos destine themselves to the worst possible fate.
He recalled that the APC started out with a confidence of victory and the party today enjoys that confidence in nearly two-thirds of the 36 states.
According to Shehu,
"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.
"This alone, addition to the fact 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 assured that the party 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.
He said that 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.
The statement said:
"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 flagbearer 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."
APC crisis: Details of how plot to remove Governor Buni emerges as Bello takes over as acting chairman
Shehu also admitted that the media is welcome to comment on the content of the character of the potential APC candidates; discuss their suitability for leadership; scrutinize their offer to the membership.
He, however, said that it focuses on the routine internal divisions and magnifies them into what they have become today is a waste of everyone’s time, amounting to no more than a discussion over seating arrangements.
Leaked document surfaces as INEC finally reacts to Governor Buni's sack, replacement with Abubakar Bello
A leaked document had shown that the Independent National Electoral Commission has rejected the replacement of Governor Mai Mala-Buni with his Niger state counterpart.
In the document, INEC said it would not honour the emergence of Governor Sani Bello of Niger state as the chairman of the APC's caretaker committee.
According to the commission, it has not been duly informed about a change of leadership in accordance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022, as amended.
APC: Documents show why scheduled March 26, national convention may not hold
There are indications that the Saturday, March 26, the national convention of ruling All Progressives Congress might not hold.
Court documents show that the APC is yet to secure a court ruling to vacate an order stopping it from conducting its convention.
It was gathered that the newly amended Electoral Act and the timetable released by INEC might also work against the party even if the order is vacated.