A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar Sidiq Usman, has described as reckless and irresponsible, comments by the National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu that aggrieved members were free to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Usman, who contested for the position of APC National Publicity Secretary and emerged the first runner up behind the former spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, at the 2018 National Convention, said the response was the reason many party members subscribed to the issues raised by Senator Lawal Shaibu and others demanding for the resignation of Adams Oshiomhole.
In a statement on Thursday, Usman said: “When they asked aggrieved members to feel free and join the PDP, I wonder if they were referring to those who contested elections alone.
“There are millions of members who were not contestants in the 2019 general election but are aggrieved because the candidate they freely voted for were substituted for were denied the party’s ticket thus resulting in the depletion of what they pride as their own.
“No serious member of a political party will be happy to watch what it fought for going down the drain because of the recklessness of a few individuals especially when there were rooms for issues that resulted to be resolved. That alone is enough for anyone to be aggrieved.
“It is evident that the party is fast losing grounds as a result of the failure of leadership exhibited within the last one year. Within the past few weeks alone, more than 30 seats of party members elected into the National Assembly have been taken by the opposition parties or in many cases withdrawn from a particular candidate to another candidate within the APC.
“This is clearly as a result of the sham primaries conducted across the states where winners are substituted arbitrarily, thus resulting in many pre-election cases mostly. This is not only unprecedented but unheard of.
“If the current leadership is going to be using Oyegun’s leadership as the yardstick for its own success, then we have a long way to go because when we decided to rally round Oshiomhole, we knew exactly why we wanted Oyegun badly replaced.
“While I acknowledged that the party under the leadership of Chief Oyegun failed in aligning the varying interests of the legacy parties that formed the APC in 2014, thus leading to widespread indiscipline and impunity within the party, the Oshiomhole led leadership for which we had high hopes and expectations have only succeeded in consolidating the failures of Pa Oyegun.”
He said the inconsistency in the mode of primaries adopted for each state and the fact that committees selected for the conduct of these primaries were arbitrarily done without even the input of most members of the National working Committee was the beginning of the failure of the Oshiomhole leadership.
On the fortunes of the party, Usman said the current leadership of the party must take full responsibility for the avoidable losses recorded in some states instead of passing the blame to the past leadership or some stakeholders at the state level.
He cited the claims by the party that “the APC has improved significantly on the result of the 2015 election under the leadership of Oshiomhole”, while refusing to take credit for the loss of governorship seats at the state is very disingenuous and cowardice.
“According to Mallam Onilu, what is considered achievement for the current leadership of the party is the fact that APC defeated the PDP with a margin of nearly four million votes in the 2019 election compared to the 2.5 million votes margin in the 2015 election.
“But what it fails to tell itself is that the presidential elections were not conducted in Abuja alone where the national headquarters of the party is domiciled., so the national leadership cannot take credit for its outcome.”
“Elections were conducted across the states where every other elections took pace. If the president won his election with a wider margin compared to 2015, it is because the people rallied round the president whose emergence as the party’s flag bearer brought no blemish to the party.
“But same is not the case with the states because apart from the fact that elections at that level are usually very competitive, most contestant where shortchanged with the way and manner the primaries and activities after it were conducted.
“Worse off is the failure of the leadership to look into the various issues that emanated and work towards resolving them. Instead, it allowed them to fester resulting in the outcome of the 2019 elections.”
“I agree with the party that erring members should be disciplined but act of issuing blanket statement for any aggrieved member to feel free and join the opposition is uncalled for. Politics is a game of numbers