A former Lagos State governor and All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu has identified ambitions for the presidency as the sole reason behind the push by unnamed politicians within the fold of the ruling APC to push out the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole.
In a statement he released on Sunday, Tinubu expressed concerns that those behind the push are willing to destroy the party for their personal ambitions and distract President Muhammadu Buhari from the business of governance.
Tinubu said, “I have said what is on my mind in hopes that some people may leave the 2023 frenzy and commit themselves to the harder yet more rewarding task of improving progressive governance, whether within the party or at the local, state or federal levels.
Yet, he said he wasn’t so naive as to think those he referred to would heed his counsel.
“The stubborn, those obsessed with the obsession of their ambitions, will ignore all advice. They will constantly pull 2023 into all that occurs in 2020. Their vision is blurred and judgment made faulty by their ailment. We are democrats so we cannot physically quarantine them,” the APC national leader said.
He said, “Many of us expended sweat, tears, toil and sleepless nights to build this party. Our personal sacrifices were not insignificant. We built this party not simply as a vehicle for personal ambition.
“We built the party because we saw it as perhaps the only enduring hope to bring progressive governance to this nation. Those who now seek to abuse the party by using it as their personal device do it great harm. They should not be allowed to sacrifice this collective enterprise at the altar of their self-aggrandizement.
“Somehow, some way they should find in themselves the bearing to adhere to the democratic spirit on which the party was founded. To be an APC member means more than merely carrying a membership card. It means to believe in a set of ideals and principles geared to our highest purpose as a party and a nation,” he said.
The plotters , Tinubu said, “launched their attack solely because they perceive the chairman as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions. People went to court knowing full well the party constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures.
“We even had a national deputy secretary improperly call for a NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself the acting national chairman. Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals who he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act.”
Those engaged in these manoeuvres, he said, see themselves as clever or cunning.
“They do so because they only understand the mean craft of political intrigue. They have yet to understand the value and long-term utility of democratic governance,” the APC leader said.
“Thus, they embark on the strangest of quest. They would rather dismantle and weaken the institutional core of their party just to gain control of that weakened edifice in order to pilfer the party nomination, which they crave. This is more than sad.
“In a broader context, those afflicted with the 2023 virus do a grave disservice to President Buhari and his administration. They should be trying their best to help the president. Instead of seeing President Buhari as our present leader and commander-in-chief, their sole contemplation is upon his eventual exit.
“Yet, not even a full year has passed since his second inaugural. How can they be committed to helping him realise his mandate when the fullness of their gaze is affixed to seizing this very mandate for themselves?”
He added that, “The President is faced with many challenges. He is fighting hard on security to keep the population safe. He is pushing for economic reforms that will augur future sustainable growth. His disdain for corruption remains unwavering.
“Add to it now the Corona crisis and its resultant social as well as economic impact. Politicians express loyalty to him but the words of too many of our politicians are like butter under a burning sun; they melt quickly away. Better to be loyal in deed.”
He said, “Instead of trying to manipulate party and other mechanisms solely to their political gain, it is time to shelve political intrigue for the time being. It is time for all party members to truly see what is at stake and work with Mr. President for the collective good of the nation.
“This means we must rally around President Buhari. Instead of everyone saying they are working for the party and nation but going their separate ways based on their selfish designs, we must help him build a stronger national consensus on policies that will ensure safety and bring greater prosperity.”
He said, “If need be and when called upon, we must offer ideas and suggestions that move policy and progress forward. This is the time for governance. It is not the moment to bring the politics of 2023 into 2020. In due course, 2023 shall come. Nothing can prevent it.”
“However, that time is not today. If we are earnest, the present offers sufficient work and challenges for us without trying to add to it by rushing the future. Let us dedicate our energies to helping President Buhari win the present. In this way, you better secure the future for the nation, the party and even for whatever personal ambitions you may nurture, he added.