POLITICS : Guard What You Say – APC Warns Atiku

The All Progressives Congress (APC), north-west zone, has denied claim by former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, that he was sidelined after he helped the party win the 2015 presidential election.
The party zonal chairman, Inuwa Abdulkadir, said that Atiku’s claim would made it look like there is a crack in the party and cautioned the former vice president against such statement in the future.
The Nation reports that Abdulkadir, while speaking to journalists at the APC national secretariat on Friday also said that the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan was trying to blackmail the president with her recent statement.
Recall that Naijaloaded  recently reported that Alhassan allegedly said she would support Atiku Abubakar against President Buhari in 2019.
Abdulkadir, who was reacting to Alhassan’s statement and Atiku’s claim of being sidelined said:-
“Atiku Abubakar is a very important member of this party. He is one of the leaders of this party and I have no doubt about his contribution to building this party. He has also added value by his personality during the last election
“When you reach that statue and age there are certain things you have to come to terms with, most important of which is to exhibit a high sense of decorum in your conduct.
What I mean is that you have to guard what you say, how you say it and when you say it because what is expected of you as a statesman is nothing but factual.
“Of recent Atiku has made some statements to the effect that or create an impression of the failure of the party and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
At that level, good party members, especially of his status should not be seen to be making such public statements even if those criticisms are factual, whereas in this case some of these statements were misleading and incorrect.
“These statements give an impression as if there is a crack in the house and in the party or that the party is not doing all that which it ought to.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have been here to responded to certain statements because as leaders, we shouldn’t be seen as joining issues in the public domain. But since he has made a public statement, the public is entitled to get the other side or be told the truth.”
Abdulkadir added that Atiku’s claim that he helped the party to win the 2015 presidential election is not totally true.
He said:-
“Yes, Atiku like many others made certain contributions in the 2015 elections and in building the party. But the bigger picture which he gave is not correct. I know that in the north west zone which I represent, we had eight presidential campaign rallies and Atiku did not attend any.
“Yes, he added value by his personality, but there are so many other members of the party, who made financial contribution and added electoral value.
North West is the most populous zone in terms of the APC membership and in terms of electoral victory, not only to the president, but we have seven state governors and 20 out of the 21 senators in the zone are from the APC.
“I think we are critical and major stakeholders in this party.
So one of the reasons why I am making this statement is to calm our members in these states and not to be distracted and that APC is well on ground as all efforts are being made to solidify those gains and we shouldn’t be distanced by such unfortunate statements which are suggesting that the party is neglecting a particular person or group persons.
“Some of these things are processes and you don’t expect everything to happen at the same time.
More importantly, there should some decorum in what we do. People who have attained those high privileged positions should know that they have attained certain status in the society and so, they cannot afford to talk any how.
“On the issue of consultation by the Mr. President, though I don’t work in the Villa, it is an open secret that whoever visited the president is no longer a secret. Whoever is meeting the president of Nigeria more than 20 people will know and the information will be shared.
“As a matter of fact, several times, Atiku Abubakar has visited Mr. President and what they discussed, we don’t know but we know that he has visited. I am sure he is not just there to greet him. Those two leaders will meet without discussing one thing or the other.
“On party meetings, I know that immediately after convention where Buhari was nominated as the party flag bearer, there were a number of leadership meetings which he participated.
Also, there were formal party meetings, some of which were held in the Villa and he was present.
“There were some meetings here at the National secretariat including two NEC meetings which he attended and other functions of the party. So the claim that the party only met once is not correct.”
Meanwhile, the APC is in a state of uncertainty following the comment by Aisha Alhassan on President Buhari’s undeclared plan to run in 2019.
Some APC chieftains who reacted to her statement have expressed surprised over the issue.
A party leader who spoke to journalists on Thursday, September 7, described the minister’s comments as rattling.
“The remarks rattled us. It is totally unexpected. But it is her view, not a collective opinion,” the party leader whose identity was not disclosed said.

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