Ahead of the All Progressives Congress’ presidential primary, a coalition of party stakeholders and other faithful, under the auspices of the APC Presidential Support Groups, have rejected the purported move by former President, Goodluck Jonathan, to participate in the exercise.
The groups, which comprise of party leaders, including youths and women across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, said Jonathan is yet to resign his membership of the People’s Democratic Party barely a month to the primary.
And even if he hurriedly defects to the APC, the party faithful noted that he may not have a full grasp of the party’s ideology before the elections.
According to Chief Dauda Owolabi, the coalition’s coordinating chairman, resounding defeat awaits the party should it allow Jonathan to participate in the exercise.
Owolabi spoke on Wednesday at a World Press Conference in Abuja.
While admitting that the former President commands respect from Nigerians, Chief Owolabi noted that there are numerous candidates in the party that have broad appeal across the country, flaunting credible credentials that can guarantee the party’s electoral success.
According to the APC stakeholders and support groups, Jonathan presence will lead to chaos in the party and ultimately set it for defeat at the polls.
They, therefore, urged the party to “do all within its means not to engage in any enterprise that would puncture the fragile peace restored in the party after the painstaking efforts of members of the party in ensuring that the party is well-positioned for electoral success in the 2023 general elections”.
Owolabi further said the APC as a party should be known for upholding democratic principles as customary with its blueprint for development.
He, however, urged party faithful to keep the faith and not relent in preparedness for the 2023 general elections.
Read full statement below:
The leadership of the APC Presidential Support Groups, a coalition of stakeholders of the party with representatives from the 36 states of the federation and the federal capital territory, welcomes you all to this world press conference.
We thank you all for attending despite your busy schedule due to the urgency of the situation at hand on why the APC must get it right in fielding the most suitable candidate that would guarantee success for the party in the presidential election.
We must admit that the importance of winning the 2023 presidential elections cannot be overemphasized in the bid to ensure continuity in the laudable policies and initiatives of the APC led government in Nigeria.
The APC Presidential Support Groups find the party’s various mechanisms in preparedness for the 2023 general elections noteworthy. We wish to commend the party’s leadership thus far and encourage them not to relent until electoral success is attained at all levels in the 2023 general elections.
However, we are constrained to lend our voice to an ugly plot that is being hatched by some members of the APC concerning adopting former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 presidential election.
By all stretch of the imagination, this plot is ill-timed and not in the party’s interest at large. Such a move implies that the party might be heading towards a resounding electoral defeat in the presidential election.
With utmost respect to the personality of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, there are numerous candidates in the party that commands broad appeal across the country and with credible credentials that can guarantee the party’s electoral success.
Some of these individuals are notable and committed members of the party whose contributions to the growth and development of the party from inception have been outstanding in ways too numerous to mention.
It, therefore, defeats common sense for some elements within the party to think in their wisdom that a non-member of the party can be adopted as a presidential candidate and expect to deliver electoral success for the party.
It is our considered opinion that the APC as a party has gone through some difficult times that threatened its foundation, but for the swift intervention of dedicated party faithful to save the day and restore normalcy within the party’s ranks.
It is instructive to note that former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). At the time of this press conference, he hasn’t resigned his membership.
It is also common knowledge that, as it stands, former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan does not understand the ideology and the social contract the APC has with the people of Nigeria concerning our development blueprint and agenda.
If this is the case, we are tempted to ask what former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan would be bringing to the table as the party’s presidential candidate, other than chaos and disunity amongst the teeming members of the APC.
Those behind the plot to bring in former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan into the APC as its presidential candidate are possibly blinded by selfish ambition that, by and large, is guaranteed to disintegrate the party and bring it into disrepute.
This is on the heels that the proposed adoption of former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan would make a mockery of all that the APC represents as a party of progressives. We also stand the risk of a mass exodus from the party and a litany of court cases by aggrieved members of the party.
The leadership of the APC must do all within its means not to engage in any enterprise that would puncture the fragile peace restored in the party after the painstaking efforts of members of the party in ensuring that the party is well-positioned for electoral success in the 2023 general elections.
Instead, it is expected that the APC as a party dissipates energy on ensuring a transparent presidential primary where the best candidate from its fold emerges as the presidential candidate.
The APC as a party should be known for upholding democratic principles as customary with our blueprint for development. It must not be seen as engaging in undemocratic acts that fuel impunity and disenchantment within its ranks.
The APC Presidential Support Groups wishes to state in unequivocal terms that adopting former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan should be a topic for consideration because the consequences of such a move might be unpleasant for the party in the 2023 general elections.
Those elements within the APC that are bent on disintegrating the party should desist from such ignoble enterprise. They should look inwards and see the strengths of the various aspirants that have indicated an interest in contesting the presidential elections. This way, the APC as a party would be guaranteed a united house prepared to go for the elections in 2023.
The APC Presidential Support Groups wishes to appeal to all members of the APC across the 36 states of the federation to keep the faith and not relent in preparedness for the 2023 general elections.
Thank you all for your time and attention.