A few hours before the primary elections of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a chieftain of the Party in Niger state, Comrade Jonathan Vatsa has warned that any attempt by the ruling party to pick its presidential candidate through a consensus arrangement will spell doom for the party in the 2023 general elections.
Vatsa, former Publicity Secretary of the party in Niger state, categorically pointed out that anything short of a democratic process to produce a candidate will amount to handing over the government to the main opposition People Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023.
Vatsa who spoke in Minna, the Niger state capital on Saturday when he briefed journalists, said that the party is heading for a self destruction if it decides to opt for a consensus candidate, adding “this will amount to changing a goal post in a football match after a penalty has been awarded.
“Why would we want to change the goal post when a penalty has been awarded, that is how I look at the whole thing. Aspirants have bought nomination forms, traversed the entire 36 states of the country seeking the supports of delegates, gone through screening, and all of a sudden, you are talking about a consensus candidate.
“It is too late to talk about consensus at this dying minute, it will not work except there is a grand design to hand over the government to Atiku in 2023 because this will surely tear the party apart. The aspirants will not agree to any consensus, no matter the threat.
Vatsa believed that those advising President Mohammadu Buhari on this “unpopular idea” of a consensus candidate did not mean well for the party, stressing that “those behind this undemocratic arrangement should be reminded that what happened during the emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the National Chairman of the party will not be acceptable this time around.
“Delegates must be allowed to decide the fate of these aspirants, let President Buhari go and lobby governors to deliver their states delegates for his preferred successor, there is nothing wrong with that, but telling some aspirants to step down for anybody will not work, that will be the end of the party”.
On the outburst of Bola Ahmed Tinubu during his meeting with Ogun state delegates, Vatsa believed that President Buhari and the party have not been fair to the National Leader of the party who used his money, time and energy to make sure Buhari emerged as President in 2015 and even 2019.
“This man was the backbone of the party in 2015 and in 2019, we all know this, he played a great role in Buhari’s emergence as President, so to tell such a person to step down for anybody will amount to a betrayal. The party will pay dearly for such decision”, he added.