…says APC has not provided leadership
Former Minister of Communication and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Adebayo Shittu, has decried crises in the party and expressed regret that APC has not provided leadership.
Shittu, who spoke to journalists in Abuja on wide range of issues concerning the ruling party, blamed some members of its leadership for the lingering crises rocking the party at the various levels.
His words: “We worked tirelessly to ensure that we build a party, which is different from anything that Nigeria has ever known. We wanted a truly progressive party that will do things differently from what those you call conservatives or corrupt politicians did.
“Unfortunately, because of poor leadership, both at the national level and in my state, Oyo, we have series of crises which are continuing. I feel ashamed that we have found it difficult to rarely provide requisite leadership as regards to management of our party.”
The former minister, who noted that it would be wrong for anybody to associate corruption with a political party, declared that some members of APC are also corrupt, which explains why they are being prosecuted.
He said: “I think corruption runs across all political parties and I am saying this with all due respect to those who are not corrupt and if I say those who are not corrupt, they are in all parties just like the opposite.
“The common denominator is that corrupt people are Nigerians and many people cannot be compartmentalised on the basis of party, when discussing corruption. It will be unfair and deceptive to assume that corruption in Nigerian politics exist in some political parties.”
On the move to fill vacant positions in APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), Shittu dismissed claims that the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has been endorsed by the South-West caucus of the party to replace the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, as Deputy National Chairman.
“I am not aware of any formula, saying State A deserves this position or State B deserves that. To me, it is not about states, it is about the quality of the person we are putting forward. Remember that in Yoruba land, which is the South-West, we have men of integrity who are many in APC.
“So, if we must have a party, we must agree to get the best, notwithstanding the state such a person comes from. Having said that, it would also mean that whoever takes that position must not be somebody who has done more damage to our party and that brings me to the issue of possibility of Ajimobi.
“Ajimobi, as a Deputy National Chairman will make our party a laughing stock. This is somebody who stayed in power as governor for eight years during which he never allowed any congress to be done or allow for free and fair democratic selection process during party primaries.
“As a progressive party, we must not just be mere claimants of progressivism or to be democratic. We must always walk our talks and practicalise our claims.
So, we cannot have somebody like Ajimobi, who never allowed free and fair elections for party offices and for candidates to emerge and in eight years organise a funny local government election less than a year to his exit as well as brought our party to shame in the sense that it was under him APC lost to a less fancied Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State.
“With such a person as deputy national chairman of the party; what impression do we give to the outside world and in what way will his coming be able to assist the process of reconciliation in our party?”