A coalition within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South West, APC South West has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to breach the trust and agreement he reached with the leaders of the party in the South West prior to his election in 2015.
A statement issued by the national convener of the group, Mr. Fatai Bola Adekunle in Lagos, stated that Buhari was morally bound to ensure that a party member from the South West region succeeds him in office next year.
Adekunle on behalf of the group in the statement made available to newsmen on Friday maintained that anything short of the demand would amount to betrayal from President Buhari and his supporters to the people of the South West who helped him (Buhari) into office in 2015.
“We are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to reciprocate the gesture of the people of the South West towards him in 2015 by making sure that one of our sons emerges to succeed him in 2023 as a token of appreciation for the gesture of our people towards him.” The group wrote.
“All of us are living witnesses to the roles played by our sons and daughters to the emergence of Buhari as the president of the country. It is no gain saying the fact that without that alliance between the South West and the North, the Buhari presidency that we have today would not have been possible.
“The political watershed occurred at a time that President Buhari himself had lost hope of becoming the nation’s President”.
The group urged the president to call his men who are clandestinely working against South West candidates to order, saying the antics of some of these people cast some doubts on the integrity of President Buhari as a man of integrity who keeps to his words.
He added that some elements within the party and government quarters are working hard to deny the region the opportunity to produce Buhari’s successor, saying such would amount to grave betrayal to the Yoruba people.
“We are aware that some people within the APC and corridor of power are working very hard and clandestinely against leading South West aspirants. This to us will amount to betrayal which our people frown seriously against. We have had people who betrayed us in the past and we are aware of what we did to traitors in our land,” the group said.
They further caution the party leaders on the rumour attempt of breaching the constitution of both the country and the party to foist former Pres. Goodluck Jonathan as a candidate.
He stated that it would be difficult for members to campaign for a candidate that they vigorously worked against in 2015, adding that “Nigerians would see us as unserious and unstable.”
While describing Jonathan as an outsider in the ruling APC, Adekunle stated that while not denying the Bayelsa born politician his right to exercise his legal right to aspire to any office of his choice and fancy, it would be morally wrong for the party to contemplate fielding him as its flag bearer next year.
“Ordinarily, no one will begrudge anyone who desires to exercise his divine and constitutionally given rights to aspire to any political office of his or her choice but actions they say generate reactions and this is what the (Jonathan’s) rumoured bid has generated.
The group accused elements within the APC for rooting for Jonathan’s saying, “Jonathan was so vilified and hounded during the 2014/2015 period of electioneering by us as the then opposition now ruling party.
“The moral burden now is; what will APC tell Nigerians that the product that we described as bad and injurious to the nation has now suddenly become a ‘good one. Nigerians are no fools.”