Nigerians may not be ready to take the risk to return the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to power in the February and March polls, in spite of observed deficiencies of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Joel Soyinka.
The lawyer and chieftain of the APC said this yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun capital, stressing that the APC remains the party to be beat in the forthcoming elections.
“It is too much of a risk to vote PDP into power again after its `dismal performance’ and Nigerians are not ready to take that risk,’’ he said.
Recall that the People’s Democratic Party had ruled for 16 years since the advent of democratic rule in 1999, producing three presidents in quick succession unbroken in five general elections.
But in 2015, the APC parading Muhammadu Buhari took over the reins of power after it defeated PDP’s Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
Soyinka, acknowledging the PDP as a major opposition party to APC, said returning APC to power would help to consolidate on its achievements with just four years in the saddle.
“That will give APC an edge with just four years in office compared to PDP’s 16 years. The 16 years of PDP are not good enough. Nigerians should look back and give it back to APC.
“The party faced a lot of challenges in the last four years; we need to put things right and that consideration will swing victory in favour of APC.’’
On Ogun governorship poll, Soyinka predicted that it would be a straight fight between only two parties — APC and PDP — and described the two other parties in the race — African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Allied People’s Movement (APM) as “relatively new’’.
“Again, the people will still go for the known parties — PDP and APC –but PDP is factionalised in the state. I think the coast is clear for APC.
“Both ADC and APM have reputable candidates but they are not known,’’ he told NAN.
Ogun Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of APC, following disputed party primaries in 2018, announced the defection of his supporters, including the governorship candidate, Rep. Adekunle Akinlade, to APM after they lost out.
Both were received by President Buhari at Aso Rock Villa on Jan. 6 with a promise by Amosun to work for him and not APC candidate, Mr Dapo Abiodun, at the polls.
Other candidates in the race are Mr Gboyega Isiaka, a two-time contender (2011 and 2015 on PDP’s platform) now of ADC, PDP’s candidate, Sen. Buruji Kasamu and ex-international, Segun Odegbami of Zenith Labour Party.
On the recent reconciliatory efforts after the primaries by ex-Gov. Olusegun Osoba, Soyinka commended him for repositioning APC in Ogun for the polls.
He recalled the bold step taken by Osoba, a former journalist and erstwhile Managing Director of the Daily Times, who took Dapo Abiodun to Buhari for endorsement before Amosun and Akinlade’s visit.
“His initiative to reconcile the factions and groups is good for the party and 2019 polls.’’ (NAN)