APC’s Post-Mortem Examination of Why the Party Lost the 2023 Election
1. Even though the 2023 general election is just a few weeks away, the presidential candidte of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his core supporters like Goveror Nasiru el-Rufai of Kaduna State appear to be doing what amounts to a post mortem examination of why their party failed to live up to expectation in the election. They have been accusing party members of sabotage. While campaigning last week in Abeokota, Ogun State, Tinubu attributed the profound difficulties he has been having to unnamed saboteurs in the corridors of power. He identified the change of Nigeria’s currency notes and the scarcity of petrol as part of the strategy to make him lose woefully.
2. On a live morning programme on Channels Television on Tuesday, February 1, Governor el-Rufai stated that there are people in Aso Rock who are working hard against the party’s victory in the forthcoming election because their candidate did not win the party’s primaries. The following day, Mrs Aisha Buhari issued a statement in support of el-Rufai’s declaration.
3. Even though Asiwaju Tinubu, Governor el-Rufai and Mrs Buhari named no persons, it is obvious to the Nigerian people that they were referring to both President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. For instance, the Kaduna State governor ascribed the authorship of the change in currency notes, which has been causing mass hardship and disaffection in the country, to not the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but the President. To validate his claim, el-Rufai recalled how General Buhari, as he was known in his earlier incarnation as a military head of state, changed the national currency notes in 1984 to punish persons who had stashed so much naira in all manner of places. As regards Tinubu’s claim that both the introduction of the new naira notes and scarcity of petrol have been designed to wreck his presidential ambitions, only the APC administration can take such measures. In other words, he is blaming the APC government for the grave challenges facing him.
4. Nigerians are not by any means surprised at the turn of events. Vice President Osinbajo has kept his distance from the Tinubu campaign and has ensured that none of his subordinates are involved in the campaign. Quite a number of ministers and other political appointees have also been indifferent to the campaign. President Buhari was prcically blackmailed to accept just two weeks ago to campaign for Asiwaju in just 10 out of Nigeria’s 36 states.
5. President Buhari’s lack of enthusiasm is understandable: how can the same person who executed three young men in the early 1980s for trafficking in hard drugs work for someone with a well-established record of drug-related offences in the United States to succeed him as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
6. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s strategy of using the President Buhari to garner votes from the Northwest and Northeast geopolitical zones is no longer working. He is advised, in his own interest and in the overriding national interest, to reconsider further participation in the ongoing presidential campaign. Let him play the statesman and ensure that the South produce the next President. It is in the interest of justice, equity, peace, stability and progress that power shift to the South.
Dr Kehinde Macaulay Comrade Jibril Bello
President Secretary General
Nigeria Solidarity Forum