After barely six days of uncertainty on the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) ahead of the forthcoming March 26 Convention, President Muhammadu Buhari has finally warned especially the leaders of the party to desist from name-calling and backstabbing among themselves.
In a press statement by Garba Shehu, his spokesman, Buhari urged the stakeholders as well as the other members to remain steadfast and maintain unity for the victory of the party at all levels throughout the country.
Buhari who is presently in London for a medical check-up said the party members should look at how the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he said is now enfeebled due to disunity, mismanagement and corruption.
The statement read,”they failed in 16 years in power and 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 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.”
“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.”
On media coverage, the President blamed the media on paying attention more than needed on the crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress, urging the media to pay less attention to the ruling party crisis.
“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 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.
“Of course the media are 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. 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.
“This is not what Nigerians talk of in their communities. They have an inclination only for things that matter.”
APC, although has been battling with different internal crisis, things took the worse turn when Niger State Governor Sani Bello assumed leadership in the absence of Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, who went on a medical vacation.
Moreover, Governor Nasir El-Rufai had said that President Buhari ordered the replacement of Buni, claiming that 19 APC governors were with Bello. While Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State described governors who are supporting Buni as ‘Yahoo Yahoo governors’.