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President picks Tinubu to resolve APC squabbles


Bola Tinubu

President Muhammadu Buhari has chosen the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to lead reconciliation efforts within the party.

The development is part of ongoing moves to improve cohesion within the APC, said a statement by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, yesterday.

The task will involve resolving disagreements among the party’s members, leadership and political office holders in some states of the federation.

This came as the spokesman for the party in Niger State, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, warned that Nigerians would not take Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign seriously until the cabal in the presidency is expunged.

Barely a week ago, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, made a similar call to the president.

“The cabal in his government has no business being in the presidency. As such, it should be fished out and flushed out,” Sagay stated, after delivering the convocation lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Minna.

Vatsa said: “President Buhari must have the political will to eject his kinsmen and the cabal that have hijacked the government and inject new people, especially technocrats with new ideas who are ready to reshape this country.

“His silence has kept many Nigerians in doubt whether he meant all the promises made during campaigns and after his assumption of office.”

Vatsa, also the Niger State Commissioner for Information, noted: “We worked for the APC but what we envisaged is not what we are witnessing. President Buhari should keep to his words, especially his inaugural speech when he said, ‘I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.’

“Until he can do away with them, Nigerians can never believe that he is fighting corruption. He should prove to us that he is ready to save Nigeria. I am saying this to President Buhari, ‘Until you do away with the cabal, Nigerians will never take your anti-corruption war seriously.’”

Vatsa stressed that as African Union’s anti-corruption crusader, Buhari must begin charity at home by cleaning up the corrupt system.

“Now that the court has ruled that Magu (Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) should be removed, Buhari should quickly replace him because he is not the only credible Nigerian. There are other Nigerians that can even do better,” he added.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), meanwhile, has cautioned the police and other security agencies not to become APC’s instruments of persecution in the “unpopular bid” to re-elect Buhari.

It condemned reported moves to arrest Mr. Kassim Afegbua, media adviser to former military President Ibrahim Babangida, describing it as a ploy to muzzle free speech.

Babangida in a recent statement by the spokesman had urged Buhari not to seek a fresh term after the expiration of his tenure in 2019.

“Recent distasteful events, including unwarranted harassment of perceived opponents of the APC, supposed and actual presidential hopefuls, as well as opposition members, show that the APC has now gone into a jittery mode, having realised that its chances of winning the 2019 general election have already vanished,” said PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement yesterday.

The party described the trend as dangerous to democracy and “symptomatic of a failed party that is prepared to turn against the citizens in a desperate bid to hang on to power against the will of the people.”

It regretted a “terrifying situation” where people are hassled for seeking elective offices or expressing opinions on governance.

“The point is that the APC has refused to wake up to the reality of the fact that Nigerians have already reached a consensus rejecting them and that no amount of threats, intimidation and persecution with state apparatus of power can subjugate or make them change that determined resolve to vote out APC and its candidates in 2019,” the PDP stated.

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