With storms of protests and wrangling sweeping the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) barely a year to 2023 polls, President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that the opposition political party can take over power.
According to him, opposition may take over if APC can’t agree to resolve the lingering crises in its fold.
“So, if the party couldn’t agree, then the opposition can take over. What did the PDP do?
“They said the opposition could not come together, but when ANPP, CPC, APGA came together, before PDP realized it, they were off, they are still are still off, they can see it,’’ Buhari said in a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) recorded interview on Thursday night.
Specifically the president was asked if the current problems rocking the party will be resolved before the convention, he said:“We have timeframe we have to work because the four-year tenure is constitutional. It cannot be interfered with by anybody. ‘’
On who takes over from him in 2023, Buhari restated that he is not a kingmaker who will determine who becomes the next president.
He said at the state level any governor who tries to impose a governorship candidate on the people will face serious problems.
“My position is simple, I think I succeeded in trying to get my position understood in the sense that I said, we start from bottom upwards; from polling units to wards, to local governments, to states and then to Abuja.
“So, the party, because I’m concerned about my party, the party, in all constituents they will know their positions, coming up. Therefore, when they come to Abuja, they are likely to work together.
“There is no kingmaker from Abuja, no constituency is being dictated to. All constituencies are supposed to produce their leadership in our party.
“What other parties are doing is their own business, but we want to make sure that our party members understand that they are respected. It is from polling unit, to ward to local government, to state and after Abuja.
“So those who want to be elected at any level, let them work for it. Nobody is going to appoint anybody,’’ the president assured.
On corrupt politicians defecting from other parties to APC to escape justice, Buhari rejected the notion that corrupt politicians defect to the party to escape punishment, saying as far as he is concerned such defections has not stopped his government’s insistence on accountability.
Persecondnews recalls that many politicians and serving governors especially from PDP including a former Aviation Minister, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode of PDP, who is being prosecuted by the EFCC for corruption and money laundering running into billions of naira, had in October 2021 jumped ship and joined APC.
Buhari said: “I don’t like to accept that joining our party will check our insistence on accountability. We are very serious about people who aspire to lead at whatever level by their performance, by their integrity both professional and personal.
“But the problem is that we have to work within the system. Even if you suspect individuals, unless there is evidence, there isn’t much we can do. So, really it is the system that makes it possible for some people really to even be corrupt.”
On whether the defectors will be allowed to go free, the president vowed: “They can’t. Nobody can go scot free as far as I’m concerned.
“Imagine what the opposition could do to me if there is something along my record, a lot of confusion could have been caused.
“But luckily I think we try to find officers with integrity and that is the best thing for Nigeria leadership at all levels. Behave with integrity. If that is done, we will achieve better results. If that is not done, a lot of time will be wasted in talking, quarreling and a lot of noise.’