Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial district and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debt, Senator Shehu Sani has asked all stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to support the efforts of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reconcile aggrieved party members across the country, saying it will be a tragedy if he fails in his assignment.
Senator Sani told newsmen while on a visit to the APC national secretariat that the announcement of the Tinubu led committee actually put on hold planned mass defection by aggrieved members of the party as a result of lingering and unresolved crisis in some states.
While saying Tinubu stand the best chance to reconcile members of the party, he said members of the National Assembly, governors and the party leadership are not in any position to reconcile aggrieved members of the party because they are party to the problem, while there is absolute no regard for the party leadership by those holding executive positions.
He lamented the absence of party supremacy in the country, saying “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. That is where the crisis starts.”
Sani who has been locked in a battle with Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai for nearly two years said President Buhari must come out now to let the world know if he was interested in seeking reelection in the overall interest of the country.
He said: “We are confident that his intervention could most likely address the fundamental issues that are facing the party at both the national and at the state level. It is no more news that the APC is faced with crisis in some states where it holds sway as a party and this crisis has defiled solutions for over two years and efforts that were made in the past has not been able to address the problems.
“Nobody could have solved this problem other than President Muhammadu Buhari himself through Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The governors cannot solve the problems of the APC because they are party to the crisis; APC Senators and members of the House of Representatives cannot solve the problem because they are party to the problem.
“The party at the national level cannot solve the problem because there is disrespect and disregard for the leadership of the party in the last two years. The very fact that the party itself has been inhibited with lack of funds and other challenges made it impossible for the party to bring to order what is happening.
“What we need to understand very clearly is that crisis within a ruling party is not new and not strange. Each time you have a group of people who organise themselves and take over political power, you are bound to have internal crisis within the party. It is so in the National Liberation Front in Algeria, it is so with the African National Congress, it is so in any political party you can think of in history that has taken over power. The APC crisis started earlier and hopefully, it will be healed in other to prevent it from inflicting some damages that could affect the fortunes of the party.”
Sani expressed concern that a party that came to power with so much good will and hope has suddenly found itself in what he describe as “civil war” with itself, saying 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 one tragedy that usually become the symptom that extinguishes a political party is absence of internal democracy, saying “you can see the supremacy of the party in South Africa and in Ethiopia. But 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. That is where the crisis starts.
According to him, once a group of people within a party see others as strangers within the party, then the recipe for crisis has been set, saying “what we need to understand is the very fact that PDP was not destroyed from the outside, but from the inside. It is the elements within the PDP that were marginalized and oppressed that became the final nail on the coffin of her party.
“If the APC must learn anything, it must learn from the history and I believe that some of the people who left the PDP to join in this merger should not come with that bug and bacteria because those fundamental issues need to be addressed. If all party members are not treated equally and fairly, certainly there will be problem.
“We believe that Asiwaju can do a lot of reconciliation and we hope that he will be able to achieve a lot because if Asiwaju fails, it is going to be doom for the party. When you see people fighting within the party, it is because they want to remain in the party. If they don’t want to remain within the party, the will simply walk away from the party.
“So, we are saying in the 21st century Nigeria, there are those of us in the APC that will not accept any governor going into a room to write the list of his concubines, friends, his errand boys and guides and send them as executive of the party.
“We are going to remain in the APC and pursue this agenda and my presence here at the APC is to send a clear message appreciating Tinubu’s appointment and so to tell them that it is in the best interest of the party that they don’t take sides or the most they can do is to give us equal treatment as far as Kaduna is concerned.”
Asked if he was interested in contesting the governorship of Kaduna state, Senator Sani said he would rather put the decision on whether to contest the governorship or not on hold until after the reconciliation efforts by the Tinubu led committee in line with the plea of the President.
He said “in politics, there are things you want and there could be decision later of what may be or may not be. In the process where reconciliation is taking place now, I think it is in our interest to put our ambitions in our pockets for now in accordance with the plea of Mr President said wait for Asiwaju to address the problems.
“It is going to be a tragedy if he fails. This is what I know and I can speak in parables. The pronouncement of the appointment of Asiwaju to reconcile members has been able to avert the tragedy of people decamping from the APC to the other parties. It has been able to do so at least for now.”
Explaining why the National Assembly reordered the order of elections as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sani said the parliament only acted to save the nation’s democracy from a bandwagon effect that would be associated with conducting the Presidential election first.
He said “let me say that the reordering of the sequence of election was informed by a number of factors. One is that the hitherto position as it is right now where you start with the President and end up with the states is one in which you have the bandwagon effect.
“The smaller parties felt that each time you have a presidential election and the president wins, nobody other party will win any seat again because it have bandwagon effect. What we are saying now is that let us have the Presidential election last so that Nigerians have the opportunity to vote for Senators and members of the House of Representatives on their own merit. They should be able to reelect those they want and vote out those they don’t want.
“The reason is very simple. We are trying to avoid mass trial, mass conviction and mass burial of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. By that, we will allow each member go to his grave or be acquitted before justice electorates.”
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