Chief Jackson Lekan Ojo is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a security expert and coordinator of Yoruba Youth Alliance (YYA). In this interview, he speaks on the party’s rough road to the 2023 general elections and how some bigwigs in the party are preparing for the presidential contest.
There are fears in the APC that the party may not survive beyond 2023. What is your take on that?
I foresee it. The only unifying factor now is President Muhammadu Buhari. There is no love among the rank and file of APC. And who are the men in APC? They call themselves progressives. But when you check, you will see only a few progressives, you will see ‘reactionalists’, you will see conservatives. You will see looters, builders and destroyers in APC. So the popularity of Buhari won the presidency not the party’s. And this is a man that is not concerned about party activities.
The reasons we lost Bauchi, Rivers, Zamfara and Adamawa states are still there. Though we got back Imo State, we can’t say we are united. We narrowly lost Osun and Ogun states. All those issues have not been revisited and treated. The wounds are still there. There is serious building up that may bring about implosion in APC.
You have more than four secret factions in APC. The faction that wants to support Tinubu in Lagos, the faction that wants to support Fayemi of Ekiti state to become president, the faction that is looking at a particular politician in the North East, the faction that is with the governor of Kaduna state, El-Rufai. All these are there. See what is happening today in Edo State. We don’t know where it will land us.
Many governors are no longer happy with Oshiomhole, but there are some people that are happy with him. Let not what happened to PDP when five governors defected, happen to APC. Let it not be the turn of APC now to feel that pain. There are governors that are not happy. There is division among the governors of the APC now.
So it is true when you heard Mr. President make that remark, that please, after his exit from office, they should not allow the party to crash. The only captain we have in APC today is Buhari. And by the time that captain is not in the aircraft, it will crash land.
Are you saying that PDP will reclaim power in the 2023 elections?
I foresee a situation whereby some forces will come out of APC and some forces will come out of PDP and form a more powerful and united force and that force may claim the 2023 presidential election. If they treat Bola Tinubu badly in APC, you will see his next move, same with Atiku in PDP. So invariably, I foresee a third force. This third force will not be like the one you have seen before. Those people in the APC today, where is their foundation politically?
Do you mean it’s because there is crisis in the ruling party that Nigerians are complaining about bad governance?
Yes. Let me be realistic, the heat is too much. The economy is not improving, electricity is not improving, the security situation is getting worse. People are crying, they are not living well. There is poverty in the land. APC government is not doing the right thing? Even among the rank and file of APC, they are quarrelling. It is either a special adviser is attacking a minister or the SSS is attacking the EFCC.
Now you have the 9th Assembly; the worst assembly in the political history of Nigeria. These are purely first class rubber stamp legislators. This is a directionless National Assembly. The principle of checks and balances has been assassinated and buried. So what are we talking about? Then Mr. President has a field day. The people around him are not helping the situation. The economy is not improving, the security of lives and property is getting worse.
Where is that thing now that the APC will come in 2023 and begin to campaign on? What will the APC talk about? Everything now, they blame it on the PDP. In the next 60 years, Nigerians will be complaining about the APC. But it is not late in the day, the APC-led government can still change. Some people are doing more harm than changing the situation for the better.
So are you willing to return to the PDP, your former party ahead of the 2023 elections?
No, I will never return to PDP but if PDP presents a better presidential material, I will not just support but I will mobilise for the person and the party.
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