Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, the National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) says the party risks failure in the 2023 general election if members do not rid themselves of the raging acrimony and band together for success.
“The other political parties want what we want, and that is, to win and form the next government,” Mr Adamu warned. “If by any acts of omission or commission we give in to bitterness and pettiness or fail to see the larger picture or take any of the political parties for granted. We will constitute an obstacle to the victory of our party.”
The party leader gave the note of warning at the unveiling of the party’s vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, as well as Peter Obi’s Labour Party are angling to take over reins of power from the ruling APC.
There have been bitter fallout after the choice of Mr Shettima as some Christian party leaders including former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal and Adamawa Senator Elisha Abbo said the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket was distasteful in the prevailing Nigerian circumstance that is enduring sharp divisions fuelled by ethno-religious sentiments.
But Mr Adamu holds that in picking Mr Shettima as his running mate, the APC presidential candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu has chosen to walk along the path of great Nigerians like late MKO Abiola.
Mr Adamu said that the late MKO Abiola in the 1993 presidential election, chose a Kanuri man, Babagana Kingibe, from the North-East as his running mate.
“We are beginning to suspect there must be some synergy between the Yoruba people and the Kanuri people,” he joked. “Maybe there is a mutual attraction between them that the rest of us do not know, never mind, we will put the searchlight on them.”
According to him, the 1993 MKO Abiola-Kingibe presidential ticket and the current Tinubu-Shettima ticket, bridged one of our fault lines in the management of our diversities.
Mr Adamu said that Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for that ticket because they trusted Abiola, a man who opened his arms to every tribe and religion in the country to run an inclusive government.
He said that Mr Tinubu was a man who has also thrown his arms around every tribe in the country and has offered his shoulders for those in pain to lean on.
He noted that the party’s presidential candidate exercised that right with due consultations with stakeholders.
Mr Adamu said that Mr Tinubu, being an astute politician, couldn’t have made the choice of a running mate without widely consulting the party’s stakeholders, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
The national chairman said that having made his choice, the party wholly and unconditionally accepted Tinubu’s choice and had a duty to work for their victory in the 2023 poll.
The APC chair said Mr Tinubu chose Mr Shettima, a former two-term governor of Borneo, because he believed he is best fit to govern alongside him. He stressed that the running mate has earned his higher calling based on his antecedents over the years.
“But we must not be unmindful of the hurdles ahead, it is time to purge ourselves of the bitterness arising from our individual losses in the party primaries,” he cautioned.
Adamu added, “It’s time to submit ourselves to the will of God and the party and do nothing to sabotage its well-laid plans for victory.”