A head of the 2023 general elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked members who were still nursing any agenda different from those of the ruling party, led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to crossover and join their likes in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Lanre Issa-Onilu, National Publicity Secretary of the party, made the remarks while explaining ongoing wrangling among leaders of the party following the loss of five states to the opposition PDP in the concluded 2019 elections.
Recall the PDP snapped up Adamawa, Bauchi, Oyo, Imo and recently Zamfara through the court.
Much of the disputations that affected the electoral fortunes of the ruling party arose mainly from the acrimonious state congresses and primaries.
Issa-Onilu gave two broad reasons for the losses suffered by his party as he discountenanced any voter’s preference of the opposition PDP.
He said that indiscipline in the party was rife across states while the then leadership of the APC failed to do much to weld the diverse political structures that won election in 2015 on APC platform into a unified party between 2015 and 2018.
“I would put the painful outcomes broadly under two reasons. One is indiscipline on the part of some members of our party in most of the states.
“The second reason is that the party leadership did not do much between 2015 and 2018 to move the party from being an amalgam of different political parties to become a truly blended progressive political party,” Issa-Onilu stated.
Amid calls for Oshiomhole to quit the stage, he said instead that the next three years were very crucial as the APC, under the leadership of the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, would continue to strengthen compliance with the rules, build support structures for democracy, ensure discipline across board, and deliver good governance for the benefits of all Nigerians.
He urged those still thinking otherwise to seek solace in the PDP.
“We expect members who have different agenda to join their kind in PDP. We will welcome with open arms, those who share our progressive ideals, so that by 2022, we will have a party whose members are truly progressives,” the APC spokesman said.
He slammed the immediate past National Working Committee, led by Oyegun, for lacking the “courage required to confront the pockets of political despots who could not operate by the party’s rules”.
The resultant effect, he said, was widespread indiscipline across party ranks, lack of respect for party supremacy as witnessed in the 8th National Assembly leadership, and its overall inability to align the varying interests of the legacy parties that came together to form the APC in 2014.
“Let me agree that the NWC that led the party into the 2015 elections and continued till June 2018 did nothing different from what you would find in PDP.
“It was a period the party was seen as a mere vehicle to attain political office. The system accommodated impunity as certain members appeared to be superior to the party.
“Their interests were far more important than the collective interests of the APC, even when most times such interests are at variance with the ideals the party stand for.
“You would recall that it was under that leadership that some impudent members of APC called the bluff of the party by imposing themselves on the National Assembly as leaders contrary to the position of the party.
“Where was the party? Where was the discipline when this happened? It would be difficult to calculate what lack of courage to assert the party supremacy cost APC over that period.
“The consequences of the inaction of the party were unimaginable. We all saw the consequences on governance as the National Assembly practically held our government to ransom.
“The impunity, which President Muhammadu Buhari has rightly described as lack of patriotism, constituted an unfortunate hindrance to the smooth running of government.
“The leadership under Chief Oyegun, with due respect to him, condoned all sorts of acts of indiscipline from certain members. It is not surprising that the current National Working Committee inherited such a huge mess, where the party was struggling to differentiate itself from the delinquent PDP.
“We all know that PDP was practically dead following the devastating defeat of 2015. The PDP bounced back not because the party has changed its insidious way or did anything different, but because APC did not live up to expectations.
“It goes without saying that when an organisation is unable to enforce its own rules, it would suffer the consequences sooner than later.
“We should not be ashamed to say that our party leadership under Chief Oyegun lacked the courage required to confront the pockets of political despots who could not operate by the party’s rules.”