By OBINNA EZUGWU
Former Lagos State governor and Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reacted to the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), noting that the party is losing sight of the reason for its existence.
Tinubu who spoke in statement on Saturday, took a swipe at those suggesting that Buhari decision has ended his ‘purported presidential ambition,’ noting that they only deserve pity.
The former Lagos governor, however, accepted the position of President Buhari, conceding that, “Our job is to recommit to our founding ideals and principles.”
“1 I begin by commending former members of the NWC. Under their collective stewardship, the party earned great and important victories and the overall electoral success of APC speak highly of them,” Tinubu said.
“2. Yet, for some months we have experienced growing disagreement within the leadership of the party. This unfortunate competition had grown so intense as to impair the performance of the party and undermining internal cohesion and discipline.
“3. If not checked, we will be in danger of losing our collective purpose. A political party that has lost sight of the reason for its existence becomes little more than vehicle of blind and clashing ambitions. This is not what drove the APC’s creation.
“4. Those who were there and contributed most to the party’s genesis embraced a common vision of progressive good governance. Sadly, while many of us remain faithful to our ideals, a significant few have allowed personal ambition to trump national imperatives.
“5. Such displays are the behaviour of a fight club not the culture of a progressive political party. For the average man, watching politicians wrestle for position is a poor substitute to seeing them working for the benefit of all, building roads and creating jobs.
“6. It had been my hope that the disagreements within our party could eventually be resolved. After all, a political solution should not be beyond the ken of leaders of a major political party. Unfortunately, such resolution has failed to materialise.
“7. Instead, our unity has suffered under a barrage of lawsuits so numerous a spreadsheet is required to keep track. President Buhari has decided that he has seen enough. I agree with him.
“8. I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene. The President has spoken and his decision has been accepted. Our job is to recommit to our founding ideals and principles.
“9. Members must subordinate their ambitions to the health and well-being of the party. Never should our party be defined by one person’s interests or even the amalgam of all members’ individual interests. A successful party must be greater than the sum of its parts.
“10. In this vein, I appeal to all former members of the National Working Committee and all members of our party to sheathe their swords and look to the larger picture, the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo.
“11. I applaud Comrade Oshiomhole for his equanimity and loyalty to the party and our President and I encourage him, now, to return to Edo State to energise the campaign for the election of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
“12. To those who have been actively bleating how the President’s actions and the NEC meeting have ended my purported 2023 ambitions, I seek your pity. Already, you have witnessed the demise of an alleged political ambition that is yet even to be born.
“13. I trust the discerning public will give your over-excited prognostication the scant weight such divination deserves.
“14. I have toiled for this party as much as any other person. Despite this or perhaps because of it, I have no problem with making personal sacrifices as long as the party remains true to its progressive, democratic creed. Politics is but a vehicle to arrive at good governance.
“15. My fellow party members, I urge you to accept the sacrifice you have been asked to make so that the party can assume its proper role of helping this government lead the nation toward enlightened improvement.”