*Says only interested in personal ambitions
Omeiza Ajayi, ABUJA
Stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on the platform of APC Rebirth Group, have slammed some chieftains of the party for declaring interest in the 2023 presidential election, while the party is facing existential threats.
According to them, there has to be a party first before anyone can talk of personal ambition, saying with a weak platform as the APC currently is, such presidential aspirations are, at best, dead on arrival.
No fewer than four chieftains of the APC, including two state governors, had recently announced their interest in seeking the presidential ticket of the party ahead of its presidential convention.
Spokesman of the stakeholders, Engr. Aliyu Audu told Vanguard that the aspirants have their constitutional rights and are at liberty to declare their aspirations at any given time.
But, he noted, “the people are however concerned with the present situation of the Party, the very platform these aspirants want to use to realize their ambitions, which has been riddled with glaring challenges that portend danger ahead of the 2023 general election.
“We then wonder whether it would not be more expedient and appropriate to first ensure that our house is well secured and ready for the ambitions of these aspirants?
“For more than a year, stakeholders and members of the party have raised concerned and complained of the glaring mismanagement of the party by individuals who are bent on destroying the progressive platform upon which so many Nigerians invested their hopes for the restitution of our country.
“The APC Rebirth on the other hand has been on a constant campaign of drawing the attention of party leaders and members to the imminent danger ahead if some powerful, but few individuals, in control of the party machinery are allowed to continue to pilot affairs based on their selfish agenda, especially judging from the failures the party recorded in the recent past and the attendant consequences.
“In these campaigns, we adopted as our fundamental objective, the return of the APC to the very principles and ideals upon which it was founded and this we drummed to everyone’s consciousness using various occasions and platforms.
“Apart from an open letter written to the President, personal letters were written and delivered to critical leaders of the party.
“In the letters we asked for their urgent intervention in addressing the numerous concerns raised and reigniting the confidence of party members whose confidence were beginning to hit the rocks.
“We also held press conferences and released statements to express this certain concerns.
“In all of our outings, we were not shy to posit that the Buni-led Caretaker Committee was not ready to conduct the much expected national convention and thus want every hand on deck to ensure that they do not succeed in their plot to hold on to the party for whatever reason.
“While events of the past have vindicated all of the concerns we raised, it is to our dismay that majority of the party leaders kept mute over all that was happening in the party.
“When some of them finally decided to speak, it was only to announce their personal ambition of wanting to become the Presidential flagbearer of the party.
“We have all along hoped that many of the party leaders would break their odious silence on what was appearing like a deliberate plan to turn the APC into an exclusive club of few individuals who have continued to do as they pleas with the party.
“They ignore every plea for retrospection and a return to the foundational principles that was the attraction for many Nigerians who have all along supported the Party in the hope that the members would play a different brand of politics.
“If the leaders have been in slumber all these while, you would expect that the public acknowledgment of President Muhammadu Buhari of the crisis in the party and his warning of a possible loss to the opposition if things continue the way they are, will ideally jolt everyone from their sleep.
“Instead, silence has continued and campaigns for the highest office has began. We want to put it on record that their silence is no longer golden.
“The Party must be returned to the right path, and the earlier our leaders speak out about these issues, the earlier and better for not only the success of the party, but also their ambitions.
“It is for this concern, that we call on these aspirants that have so declared their intention to pursue their individual ambitions and also those who are yet to do so, to join us in the all important task of ensuring that our Party is secured and returned to the path of progressive idealism which was the foundation of this great Party.
“In our opinion, the first and probably the most important task at this point, is to ensure that the Party is not caught up in a potential risk of floodgate of litigation and disenchantment from members that may likely jeopardize the chances of the Party.
“This huge risk can only be mitigated by ensuring the speedy conduct of the convention which will birth a risk free and legitimate Party officials”.