Senator Shehu Sani has said that avoidable doom awaited the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the 2019 polls should Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu fail to reconcile aggrieved members.
Sani, a chieftain of the APC who represents Kaduna central in the Senate, stated this on Sunday in Abuja in an interview with newsmen.
It was his own reaction to Tinubu´s recent appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the APC team of consultation, reconciliation and confidence-building.
Tinubu’s assignment, among others, is to forge cohesion within the APC ahead of the 2019 general election. It involves resolving disagreements among party members and leaders.
It also involves reconciling political office holders in some APC-controlled states and addressing crises in the party`s chapters in Kano, Kogi, Kaduna, Bauchi and other states.
“It is going to be a tragedy if he fails. This is what I know and I can speak in parables,” said Sani who has not been in a good relationship with Governor Ahmad Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state.
According to him, the Kaduna state governor has pocketed the party and wants to impose his will and unleash terror on members, by exploiting his proximity to the President.
He said Tinubu´s appointment has halted, for now, the defection of most APC members to other political parties.
Sani said it is no more news that the APC is faced with crises in some states where it holds sway, adding that the crises have defied solutions for over two years.
The Senator noted that efforts made in the past have failed to address the multi-state crises.
Sani while confirming that the Kaduna state chapter of the party is now having a parallel executive, said it was left for the Tinubu team to address the situation before it gets out of hand.
“It is left for Asiwaju to build the bridges. Lagos is known for bridges; therefore we hope that there will be Seventh Mainland Bridge to connect the divide, but we are not sure of this.
“Right now, the party is already divided in Kaduna and it is for the national secretariat to note this and we have said it in clear terms.
“The problem has defied solution for two years, but we believe that Asiwaju can do a lot of reconciliation.
“We hope that he will be able to achieve a lot because if he fails, it is going to be doom for the party.
“In the process where reconciliation is taking place now, I think it is in our interest to put our ambitions in our pockets according to what Mr President said and wait for Asiwaju to address the problem,” he said.
Sani advised the Tinubu reconciliation team not to take sides but to give equal treatment, especially as far as Kaduna state is concerned, in the interest of the party and its members.
He expressed confidence that Tinubu´s appointment could most likely address the fundamental issues that were confronting the party at both the national and state level.
The Senator, however, maintained that nobody could have solved the party´s many problems other than President Buhari through Tinubu.
This according to him, was especially so because APC state governors, Senators and members of House of Representatives could not solve the problems because they were all parties to it.
He added that even the party at the national level could not solve the problem because there had been disrespect and disregard for the party´s leadership in the last two years.
Sani noted that the very fact that the APC had been inhibited with lack of funds and other challenges, made it impossible for it to bring to order the situation.
While noting that the APC crisis started earlier, the Senator said addressing the situation would prevent more damages that could affect its fortunes in 2019.
“It is of concern that a party that came to power with so much goodwill, and hope has found itself in a civil war with itself.
“Right now, the APC is both the government and the opposition, because most of the criticism and opposition that is going on in the country is within the APC itself,” he said.
Sani blamed the situation in the APC to lack of party supremacy and internal democracy which he said was evident in South Africa and Ethiopia as was recently displayed.
“In Nigeria, there is no supremacy of the party because people holding position of executive power think that the party should be under them and not them being below the party.
“Political parties in the Nigerian setting, seem to be parastatals of the state governments and that is totally unacceptable. There is also the syndrome of ‘the party is our own’.
“If a clique of people believe that they founded the party and other people are strangers, then the recipe for crisis has been set,” he said.
The Senator warned that if all party members are not treated equally and fairly, there would be problem.
He recalled that the PDP was not destroyed from the outside, but from the inside, adding that it was the marginalised and oppressed elements within the party that became the final nail in its coffin. -Punch.