A former Senator who represented Rivers South East Senatorial District, Magnus Abe has voiced his discontent at the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the current crisis plaguing the party.
Abe made his stance known on Tuesday during a live interview on Arise TV ‘Morning Show’, monitored by Ripples Nigeria.
During an earlier interview, Ali Ndume, a current Senator noted that the actions of the 19 Governors, who were allegedly in support of the emergence of Niger State Governor, Sani Bello as the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee Chairman, will be eventually ratified for the betterment of the party.
Last week, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State noted that certain actions and inactions of Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni put the ruling party at risk because they were a hindrance to the plan to hold its convention on March 26.
El-Rufai also said 19 of the 23 governors elected on the ticket of the party were on the same page on the mission to prevent the party from collapsing. He did not name the four governors that were not with them.
However, Abe, during the interview, blamed the party leadership for the current situation, considering the upcoming March 26 National Convention and the election timeline announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He further warned that the party must close ranks and ensure a sense of purpose and unity, despite various divergent and contending interests.
Abe said, “Everyone is aware that there will always be speculations that are often untrue due to the changing dynamics but the APC has major challenges and there is not much time with the signing of the Electoral Bill and the coming elections.
“Therefore, all parties must sort their houses in adjustment with the new timetable announced by the INEC; the concern of a lot of party members is that the leadership seems disconnected with the issues on the ground.
“The timeframe should not be something of worry, what concerns a lot of people are:
“A lot of the APC leaders, due to its position as the ruling party, are disconnected and the problem plaguing the party seeps into the polity.
“We must realise that the APC is a party and its usefulness lies in the ability to win elections. The thinking of some of them is that President Muhammadu Buhari has 11 million votes and we cannot afford to take these voters for granted. We must conduct ourselves in a manner that will engender trust in the mind of the electorate.
“The APC is dragging itself in too many directions due to many subplots which have led to disunity. There will be diversity of interests but there is no common purpose amongst the stakeholders.
“To be frank, trying to build a consensus around the Chairmanship party will make the convention less stressful. Trying to bring key interests on board and everyone is convinced; the party can still put themselves together. But with the passage of the Electoral Act, the consensus is not a foregone conclusion.
“It is saddening that this situation is happening just before the national convention.
“The challenges can be resolved and this is an opportunity to determine our stance as patriots. If there is no clear leadership, people take entrenched positions and what is needed now is an urgency of purpose. We need to work with all the seemingly smaller members in order to foster a greater sense of unity.”
He further spoke on the comments accredited to the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu who said some “Yahoo Yahoo governors” in the party supported Mai Mala Buni, Yobe governor, to circumvent the will of party members.
“If one focuses too much on some of the words of politicians, the essence will be missed. Since Akeredolu expressed his angst regarding the activities in the party. What is important is for the governors to come together and identify the root causes of their disaffection in order to allay the fears of the stakeholders.
“This fear was borne that the Governors were treating the convention with levity and regardless of any misgivings, they must come together to forge a common front,” Abe noted.
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