Nwosu urges total reconciliation of all factions ahead of APC national convention
• Supports Igbo presidency, direct primary
Ahead of the National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a stalwart of the party and former governorship candidate in Imo State, Chief Uche Nwosu, on Tuesday, urged its leadership to reconcile all factions in the state chapters before going ahead with the Convention.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja while reacting to the decision of the Party to hold its National Convention in February 2022, he stated that the call became necessary in order for APC to repeat its overwhelming victory at the polls come 2023 general elections.
He counselled that holding the February convention without first resolving the crisis rocking some state chapters of the party would amount to setting the cart before the horse which would be disastrous for the ruling party.
Nwosu pointed out that the party would lose quite a number of members if it goes ahead with the exercise with twelve to thirteen states still factionalised as of today.
According to him, “the best thing the leadership of this party will do is to reconcile the different factions in APC in the different states, if you don’t do this, we are going to lose a quite number of people in the party. You can’t have different factions in almost 12 or 13 states and you go ahead to conduct a national convention and you believe that it doesn’t matter?
“It doesn’t matter in Kwara, Lagos, Adamawa, Kano, Imo and many other states.
“So if the party leadership can be able to reconcile these different groups in the APC, then the party will come out stronger, it does not take anything. You see other political parties reconcile their members and move forward and I ask myself, what are we doing, is it that this power we got by the special Grace of God that we no longer remember how we suffered and laboured to get it.
“Are we now behaving like other parties that got power and they forgot to remember that power is transient, so the leadership of the party should, first of all, manage the crisis in the party within these few months before we go into the national convention.”
On the alleged zoning of the Party’s National Championship position to the South-East, Nwosu dismissed the speculation saying that the party has not come out with any such arrangement, and described it as “mere rumour.”
According to him, “I do not think that the leadership of the party has zoned the Chairmanship to the South-East, it is just a mere rumour, the party has not come out to say so but in other words, I am a proponent of equity, justice and fair play, the right thing must be done and what is the right thing, the South-East has not produced the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it should be allowed to produce the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I see some of our leaders from the South-West and South-South on the television talking about Presidency, and I ask myself, where is the justice, equity and fair play? The South West has gotten the position in the eight years of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the South-South had President Goodluck Jonathan, the South-East has got nothing, do our leaders think at all about the unity of this country.
“Why should we accuse the North of holding power and trying to retain it again, meanwhile we from the South, we cannot root for equity, justice and fair play, if actually, we are accusing the North of trying to hold on to power, then we should also come back home and accuse anybody or any region that wants to have power after the North, so I think for the peace and unity of this country, power should move down to the South-East.
“I hate when people say that in the South-East IPOB is destroying things and as a result of that South-East will breakaway if they give them power, how can a reasonable person say that or how can someone say that Southeast has only two states that are APC, for Christ sake when President Olusegun Obasanjo became President, almost all the states in the South West was in ACN and they didn’t vote for Obasanjo.
“We all voted for Obasanjo, so that is not a criterion for saying that South-East cannot produce President or they don’t have anybody, how can somebody wake up in the morning and say there is nobody in the South-East, it is an insult, we have many people in the South-East that are qualified to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In this area, I don’t blame the North because the North is silent but the Southern people are the ones causing the problem for themselves, because we are already divided, who are you going to blame, justice and equity should be the order of the day.
“South-East should take it first, then next group in the South that should be compared to the South-East is the South-South that did six years, our brothers in the South-West should be able to understand that we need peace, we need equity, we need justice in the country.
“So for me, I will always stand for truth, I will always stand for justice, our President, Muhammadu Buhari, who I know is a man of justice and equity and a man who believes in fair play, has not said anything, the party has not said anything, but my advice to the leadership of the party is to look towards the Southeast for us to have equity, justice, fair play and total peace in our nation, when we do this, Nigeria will be a great place for all of us.
Speaking on the issue of direct primary, Nwosu insisted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should participate actively in the process so that mischievous politicians do not hijack the various party primary elections.
According to him, “I will support the use of direct primary as an individual and a party man because it gives the citizenry the opportunity to start electing their preferred candidates in a party, not only to wait until it is a general election where all parties have filed their candidates before they elect so with direct primary where everybody goes to his booth or ward to vote and every card-carrying member of the party can elect who becomes their flag bearer.
“I think that will also help the candidate in the general election, it shows the popularity of the candidate from the primaries to the general election, but I must caution that some political parties which think that because you are doing direct primary, you can write results and announce in Abuja for fear of coming for the election.
“You can imagine a situation where one million votes are allocated to a candidate in a primary and at the end, the same candidate cannot get up to fifty thousand in the general election but during the primaries he was allocated four hundred thousand votes, so you see that even the political parties that their leadership sometimes make a caricature of our democracy.
“So direct primary is good but I love the stance of the National Assembly where INEC should participate fully and INEC should be made to sanction and not to forward the name of any aspirant who did not participate in the primaries or whose election was announced in Abuja or somewhere in a hotel or whose vote is more than the number that came out to vote.
“So INEC should be more active in this direct primary, once INEC is active and refuses to accept or file the name of a candidate who fraudulently got his name through the party Exco to be submitted to INEC office, if INEC can reject it, then Nigeria will be a better place.
“For me, I will support the direct primary because I was once a product of direct primary during the APC primary election in Imo State but that injustice was also meted to me where we were still in the field and the next thing was that result was announced in Abuja so if INEC will be able to guide itself and participate fully in these direct primaries of political parties, then our nascent democracy will be a pride of Africa.”
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