A former governor of Jigawa State and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sule Lamido, has questioned the foundation of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the party will not live beyond 2023.
He said the APC would collapse because it was built on hatred for the PDP, adding that it had failed to fulfill its promises and its leaders exposed as liars.
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The former minister of foreign affairs said the PDP would regain power in 2023 because Nigerians were tired of the ruling party.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Trust on Sunday, Lamido said the APC brainwashed Nigerians to believe that everything evil in the country was caused by the PDP.
President Muhammadu Buhari emerged the winner of the 2015 election on a campaign built on promises to address the country’s security challenges, improve on the economy and tackle corruption. He was re-elected for another term of four years in 2019.
Opposition parties, prominently, the PDP, have been scheming ahead of the 2023 presidential election to unseat the ruling party.
The former governor also criticised President Buhari and the APC leadership for encouraging cross-carpeting into the ruling party, alleging that they had been using blackmail to get members of the opposition into their fold.
“For Buhari to now receive PDP members in the Villa, that is irresponsible. This means corruption because to steal PDP’s ticket and take it to another party is the worst corruption ever,” Lamido said.
On the move to woo him into the then new party in 2014, he said leaving the PDP would mean biting the fingers that fed him. “I refused to go because I did not think they were sincere. And they are dubious in their approach. They lack simple courtesy. How would they abuse me and come back to me, saying something different?
“In all our aspirations and divisions as citizens of this country, politicians or activists, we should put Nigeria first. Let Nigeria be built, whether you are in the APC or PDP,” he said.
Lamido also said the call for restructuring was fuelled by loss of confidence in the system, bad governance, injustice and nepotism.
APC will outlive 2023 – Spokesperson
Reacting to Lamido’s statement, the deputy national publicity secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, in a telephone chat with Daily Trust on Sunday, said the party would not collapse.
According to him, the party is truly national and has recorded significant milestones in the country, adding that it was not founded on lies but the ideals of democracy.
“When Sule Lamido was the governor of Jigawa State, what did he do for the people? Let him first examine himself. I can assure you that the APC will not collapse. The party will retain power in 2023. It has gone beyond the level extinction,” he said.
No law stops Buhari from receiving decampees – Presidency
Reacting to Lamido’s statement that it is not honourable for the president to receive members of other political parties into the APC at the Presidential Villa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that no law banned Buhari from doing that.
Shehu said the APC attracted leaders of other political parties into her fold through persuasion and promise delivery, stressing that no one is being forced to join the ruling party.
Dismissing the notion that reception of decampees with mandates of other parties was another form of corruption, he said the APC would not emulate the tradition of the PDP.
“I think the former governor should read the constitution. Much as the president has one vote, he is a leader. There is no law stating that a sitting president cannot, as a recognised leader of his party, welcome new members. This is not corruption. Political corruption is when a sitting governor is shown Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) papers and offered a choice of either facing prosecution or decamping. This is what their party, the PDP, did in their 16 years.
“On the other hand, no one is being for forced to join the APC,” he said.