- Says no riding to victory on Buhari’s persona in next polls
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) wednesday called on its members to close ranks and engage in intense grassroots mobilisation for the party to retain power after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
It said unlike in 2015 and 2019 when the party rode to power on the persona of the president, who enjoys solid support in the North, other factors, outside the president’s credibility and support, would determine whether it would continue to be the ruling party beyond 2023.
The Secretary of APC Caretaker Committee, Senator John Udoedghe, told a Coalition of the APC Support Groups, led by Mr. Frank Ossai, that visited him in Abuja that various support groups of the party, should therefore, make themselves relevant in grassroots politics.
He spoke against the backdrop of muted concerns about the fate of the party in a post-Buhari presidency.
Some critical stakeholders of the party have been expressing concerns about the future of the party after Buhari Buhari would’ve served out his constitutional two-term limit by 2023.
The president expressed a similar concern in November 2019, when, at a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party in Abuja, he urged party leaders to work hard to ensure that the party survives beyond the end of his tenure in 2023.
According to him, history will not forgive the party leaders if APC should collapse at the end of his administration.
He had told the party leaders that they have a responsibility to make the party attractive to their constituents.
“History will be fair to us if the APC remains strong and not only holds the centre but makes gains,” he had added.
Udoedghe, however, said yesterday that nobody in APC would have an opportunity to hide under the integrity of Buhari to contest the 2023 general election.
“Owing to your contribution to the party, we will integrate and reconcile aggrieved members to ensure that they are part of the party system.
“In 2023, the personality of President Buhari will not be replicated. So, we need you and other support groups, we need to do something about it,” Udoedghe added.
Earlier, Ossai had lamented that some of his members that participated in the 2018 national convention, particularly those that contested elections, were sidelined in the system.
He, therefore, urged the party to reward his members by allowing them to participate in the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election.
Ossai said: “One of the issues the Coalition of APC Support Groups have is the lack of rewarding system. Since 2015, we from the South-south and other geopolitical zones we know what it means to have APC as your surname.
“We have members of our groups who were shot dead and some who lost members of their families in 2015 and 2019 general election. Up till today most of us have not been rewarded.”
Ossai urged the APC Caretaker Committee to reconcile aggrieved members of the party.