Buhari Wades into APC Crisis, Calls for Calm
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to refrain from attacking each other, urging them to see themselves as one.
In a message personally signed by him on Saturday, March 12, 2022, Mr Buhari said members of the party must learn from the mistakes of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said all hands must be on deck for the success of the March 26 national convention of the party and then the 2023 general elections.
According to him, “We must never allow ourselves to be distracted. We exist to serve the people of Nigeria and to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to them. That is all that ultimately matters.”
President Buhari further stressed that there must be no distractions and infighting “ahead of the convention to choose new leaders” as “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.”
Mr Buhari is wading into the APC crisis following the rumoured removal of the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party and Governor of Yobe State, Mr Mai Mala Buni.
Below is the full message of Mr Buhari to APC members.
I am asking the leaders and the entire membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to desist from name-calling and backstabbing, ahead of the March 26 Convention.
We must look at the once-powerful, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is now enfeebled and adrift, and learn lessons from their disunity, mismanagement and corruption. They failed in 16 years in power and remain a failure as opposition.
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.
The APC started out with a confidence of victory and today enjoys that confidence in nearly two-thirds of our 36 states.
Yet this is a party that has been in existence barely for eight years, becoming the dominant party because we have thrown open our doors to defectors from other parties, big and small.
What has also made our success possible is that we didn’t start on the note of arrogance of power, nor do we see government as a vehicle for self-aggrandizement, to be held at all costs.
Instead, we see it as a vehicle to bring development to all without discrimination —political, ethnic or regional — to our dear country.
We are proud of the fact that in its short period of existence, the APC has won two general elections decisively, and despite losing a few states in 2019, we have steadfastly expanded its pan-Nigerian outlook with significant defections of the opposition Governors and parliamentarians into our 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.
We must never allow ourselves to be distracted. We exist to serve the people of Nigeria and to continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to them. That is all that ultimately matters.
And we must all remain steadfast and maintain unity if our great Party is to continue in the path of victory and its dominance at all levels throughout the country.