Buhari Laments How Bitter Squabbles Cost APC Governorship, Legislative Seats

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday expressed concern about how bitter and unnecessary bickering cost the All Progressives Congress (APC) many governorship and legislative seats in past elections.

He spoke at the State House, Abuja, while inaugurating the Tripartite Consultative Committee of the Executive, Legislature and Leadership of the APC.
Membership of the committee, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is drawn from the executive, legislature and the APC.

The president who said the APC has a clear majority of memberships of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, added that the executive-legislative relationship in this tenure has so far been smooth.

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However, he said the party was always embattled as a result of frequent acrimony, which he said often cost APC elective offices.
The president spoke against the backdrop of intra-party squabbles in some state chapters of the party, which have led to its loss of both executive and legislative seats to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara and Rivers States.

Besides, the party’s is facing a tough challenge in retaining Edo and Ondo States in the forthcoming governorship elections due to a war of attrition among its members.

In Edo State, the face-off between the state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and his predecessor, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, led to the factionalisation of the party and the crisis in the state House of Assembly leading to the non-inauguration of 12 lawmakers-elect loyal to Oshiomhole, until their “inauguration” some weeks ago.

The crisis also forced the governor, along with his supporters, including top party members, to defect to PDP after APC disqualified him from the race for its ticket. Obaseki is running on PDP’s ticket in the election.

However, the president said yesterday that the essence of inaugurating the committee was to ensure that such unhealthy relationships in the party were averted.

He said: “Our party commands a clear majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The vice president, the distinguished Senate President, the Rt. Hon. Speaker and I, all belong to APC and working relationship between the executive and the legislature has been excellent so far.

“Our joint responsibility is to keep things that way and see where we can improve our communication and coordination.
“But we must admit to ourselves that our party has been too often embroiled in bitter, and on occasions, totally unnecessary squabbles, causing us seats in the legislative and gubernatorial elections.

“This never should have happened. We are here to make sure such occurrences never happen again.
“We must now ensure regular consultations between the party and government,” he stated.

Buhari who described himself as a firm believer in the principle of separation of powers, said notwithstanding, checks and balances could be applied without exhibiting rivalry and bitterness.

“I am a firm believer in the doctrine of separation of powers, which is fundamental to our constitutional democracy, but our practice should be harmonious checks and balances, devoid of bitterness and petty rivalry,” he added.

The president said he would be awaiting feedback from the committee, adding that its success will add value to the government.
He expressed faith in the committee as a platform with the capacity to improve governance and move the party forward.

He also tasked the party leaders to be alive to their responsibilities, saying the onus lay on them all to fulfill their electoral promises.
“As one government, we must further align ourselves and be alive to our electoral promises. We need to nurture our party, which is the platform that will take us and our country forward.

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