Senator of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday that the party will emerge stronger from the crises arising from its primaries.
It is also his position that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar cannot defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in February’s poll.
Senator Abu Ibrahim (Katsina South), who x-rayed the crisis in some state chapters of APC, traced the cause to the burning desire of many Nigerians to secure APC’s tickets for the 2019 elections.
He noted that APC being the ruling party made it attractive to those seeking elective positions in 2019.
Ibrahim also said the crises stemmed from the “high interest and high stake” most people placed on the primary election as “the main thing” before the general election in 2019.
Ibrahim said, “The APC is a governing party. Everybody believes once you have the ticket, APC will do it for you.
“Obviously, the interests are high, the stakes are so high. Everybody wants to take APC ticket.
“Everybody wants to be APC candidate. Many people were shocked when I bought APC form and decided to opt out of the primary election. I said I will not contest again. They said, you are Mr. President’s man, you will get it. Why do you want to leave?
“Everybody believes that taking the ticket of APC is a sure way of winning election. People believe that once you have the ticket of the party your work is done.
“The primary election is the main thing, once we are through with it, every other thing will fall in line.
“It was easier for me to secure nomination when I was in opposition in Katsina State. For those who were in PDP it was difficult because then PDP was government party.
“We were only two people that bought the form while PDP had close to 10 people. So it is always like that with the governing party, the government party.
“You can see, even those of us who are not contesting, there is pressure. But our duty is to make sure that the right persons take over.”
In the Katsina South senator’s view, nobody is happy with the crises rocking the party, but he is hopeful that APC will emerge much stronger from the crisis.
He applauded the national chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for working assiduously to institutionalize democracy in the party.
For him, anybody working to effect positive change in any system would face the kind of challenges Oshiomhole is facing in APC.
He said: “I salute the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for putting a lot of his time to the party and for working to institutionalise democracy in the party.
“That is what he is trying to do, let democracy take root in the party. Oshiomhole wants to change the system to allow proper democracy to work in the party.
“Anybody who wants to change the system will face the kind of challenges Oshiomhole is facing. In the end, people will begin to see the benefits. It will be easier for future politicians.”
On the way out, Ibrahim said that there might be need to institute reconciliation committees at all levels to consider and reconcile issues.
He said: “Of course it is; yes I agree with you, the election is between Buhari and Atiku. Atiku is certainly not a pushover, but Atiku is not a match for Buhari in terms of political records, commitment to the nation, fighting corruption and fighting insurgency.
“Buhari formed a new political party that is moving the nation forward but Atiku has moved from all the political parties. Do you call that a leader?
“But I know the challenges are huge, I agree. All the restructuring he is talking about is a gimmick. He was a vice president in this country but he did not talk about restructuring.
“Because he has seen that the South said they want restructuring, he wants to use it. What restructuring is Atiku talking about. Bring any detailed documents where Atiku espoused the restructuring he is talking about.
“We have not seen such documents anywhere. I haven’t seen any written detailed document of Atiku on restructuring. So he is just deceiving Nigerians. We will answer him, let him start talking, he will get answers blow by blow. Let us see his plans, let him start talking, we will answer him in full dose.”
On why he opted out of the senatorial primary in his state, Ibrahim said it was his personal decision to give younger people opportunity to play their part.
He noted that withdrawing from the race was also to allow him concentrate on his commitment to ensuring President Buhari’s victory next year.
He said: “It is not that I’m tired of the Senate. I like the Senate but I have successfully done my own part.
“The world is like a stage, you play your part and allow others to play their parts. So I decided to allow the younger ones to come into the system and play their part.
“I will continue to impart my knowledge to them and allow them to play their part. I will continue to guide them and collaborate with them to continue to move our state and the country forward.”
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