Presidency: APC Govs Pressure Buhari To Show Commitment To Tinubu’s Bid

There are indications that the governors on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have intensified pressures on President Muhammadu Buhari to show more commitment to the emergence of the standard bearer of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as his successor.

The governors, under the aegis of the APC Governors Forum chaired by the Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, met the President yesterday where they discussed the political reality of the country ahead of the February/March general elections. At the first meeting attended by the members of the APCGF, the governors told the President the dire consequences of the Naira redesign and swap policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the people.

They told him that the people who are increasingly being detached from their savings, are being pauperised as they no longer have access to their money with their businesses collapsing. According to the Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, who briefed newsmen after the governors meeting with the President, the governors were not averse to the swap policy, but were concerned with the attendant hardship it has brought upon the people. According to him, the policy has made the APC unpopular and could cost the ruling party victory at the oncoming general elections if not rescinded.

He said though the intention of the policy was laudable, its implementation was ill-timed. The Kaduna state governor said the governors pleaded with the President to suspend the timeline of February 10 and allow the old and new notes to coexist until the new would cancel out the old after the redesigned notes would have been adequately injected into the economy.

Though the President said he was going to look into their request within the next seven days (as at yesterday), a dependable source close to one of the governors said they were not persuaded by the President’s assurance. The source alleged that the Naira redesign was specifically introduced to cause suffering among the masses in order to cause public resentment against the APC and thereby jeopardise the chance of Tinubu’s victory at the February 25 Presidential election. He alleged that a powerful cabal in the Villa, bent on retaining power in the North, was working assiduously to frustrate a Tinubu’s victory. He said “The cabal believed that the APC was a political special purpose vehicle used to realise Buhari’s Presidency.

Now that the man has finished, and they failed to impose their preferred candidate at the primary, they don’t believe that the party has any other purpose to fulfill since most of them are not even members ab initio. They are not telling the President the truth about economic hardship brought by the Naira swap and the incessant fuel scarcity at a time the party is going for major national elections,” Some hours after the APCGF meeting with the President, three other APC governors were at the Villa for another closed doors meeting with the President.

Those at the second meeting were the Chairman of the APCGF, Bagudu, the Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru and the Lagos State governor. Though the agenda of the second meeting was not made public, a source disclosed that they came to discuss the development in the party as it concerned the campaign activities for the presidential elections. The source said the governors were there to disabuse the mind of the President against the insinuation that the APC Presidential standard bearer and some governors have constituted themselves into an opposition to his government by openly criticizing the policies of his administration.

The source said that the opposition elements to Tinubu’s emergence as President within the Villa have consistently told the President that the APC candidate and some governors, including El-Rufai, have perfected plans to rubbish his achievements and make his administration look insensitive to the plights of average Nigerians.

The source disclosed that the Bagudu led team prevailed on the President never to listen to those close aides whose agenda was to ensure that the ruling party does not succeed at the February polls. The source said the governors told the President that it was dangerous to allow the fifth columnists have their way as surrendering power to the opposition would mean that all the laudable achievements recorded by his government would be reversed.

He added that the governors equally stressed that the Presidential candidate and the APC governors were not berating his administration as being alleged by the fifth columnists, but only pointing out the pitfalls dug by the fifth columnists to derail the ruling party and make it lose the elections. The governors, he added, told the President that the fifth columnists were not members of the APC and therefore were working for the candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, within the Villa.

The governors, it was learnt, also pleaded with the President to identify more openly with the APC standard bearer, in words and actions, in the remaining days of the campaigns. The source said “They told the President that his failure to identify with Tinubu may spell doom for the party because his cult followers especially in the North, may misconstrue his independent posture to mean resentment to Tinubu’s victory at the poll. While they appreciate his avowal to conduct free, fair and credible elections, they reminded him of his obligations to support the party’s candidate as the leader if the APC.”

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