The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it has decided to desist from commenting on issues pertaining to the 2023 General Elections, but, rather, focus on governance.
“As a matter of policy and decision, we (the APC) are not going to be commenting on the 2023 elections. We are focusing on governance,” the party’s spokesperson, Lanre Issa Onilu, told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday.
This resolution was borne out of the growing concern raised by the party members on the internal crisis threatening the party and the exit of its favourite candidate, President Muhamadu Buhari, after his constitutionally allowed second term in office elapses in 2023.
Joining the likes of Rochas Okorocha and other prominent figures in the party who had earlier expressed skepticism of the party victory in the next General Elections, the immediate past minister of communication, Adebayo Shittu, again added his voice to the growing concerns.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the senator representing Imo West constituency, blamed the leadership of the ruling party for this lingering crisis which he believe may bring about the party defeat comes 2023 if not properly managed.
Also, Mr Shittu, was reported to have uttered a similar chain of thought at an event in Oshogbo, the capital of Osun State, on Wednesday.
He dismissed the purported third term agenda of President Buhari and the APC but also expressed the uncertainty of the party winning the next General Elections. He hinged his reason on Mr Buhari’s exit factor. This is not his first time of making such statement.
“In the last two elections, Buhari got over 15 million votes and that is because he is on the ballot. From the North alone, he got over 12 million votes on each occasion.
“If the APC is not careful and put its house in order, where will the vote come in 2023 if the magnet of Buhari is no more on the ballot?” the ex-minister, who PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported skipped the compulsory national service, an offence under the NYSC law, punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment, said.
Mr Shittu in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES in 2019 had made similar comment denouncing the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole and the possibility of the party ‘going down’ before 2023 if the latter (Mr Oshiomhole) continues as the party chairman.
“My fear is, if he’s not removed before 2023, there’s a possibility of APC going down. It is Buhari who is keeping the party together now. Once President Buhari is no more on the ballot, I cannot say, with Oshiomhole, what will happen. So, it is the matter of urgency that we must retire him so that we bring in fair-minded person who would engage less of his mouth than his brain,” he had told this newspaper.
However, the APC, echoing some of the voices of its leaders, told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, that the party has resolved to abstain from commenting on any issue that borders on the 2023 General Elections.
He added that the party will only focus on governance until the right time to comment comes.
“As a matter of policy and decision, we (the APC) are not going to be commenting on the 2023 elections. We are focusing on governance.
“When it is the appropriate time to talk or comment on 2023 elections, we will talk. Even the President has said it several times that we should focus on governance,” Mr Issa-Onilu told this reporter in a phone interview.