Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has boasted that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is too weak to wrest power from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election.
The former Lagos State governor, however, warned that the only guarantee for the APC to retain power beyond President Muhammadu Buhari era would be to fulfil the party’s electoral campaign promises.
“To retain power in 2023 will certainly be if we keep our promises. It is that simple. That is politics. If you do what you said you will do, even if you don’t do 100 percent and they see that you are making progress, they will even want you to finish what you started.
“Our opposition has to think better than us to defeat us. Right now, they are not doing that. When it is election time, they should come and meet us,” he said.
On whether he is contesting, Fashola said: “Which card are we talking about now? Where do I belong? I belong to a party, APC and it is committed to good governance because I think the best politics is good governance.
“The beauty of it for me is the opportunity it gives to impact peoples lives. We have election once in four years but we have responsibility to provide good governance everyday and that is the culture.”
The minister equally reacted to the proposed extension of the tenure of the APC caretaker/extraordinary national convention planning committee, warning detractors to stop distracting the committee.
On the zoning arrangement of the party for the 2023 presidential election, he said zoning is not a constitutional matter but a convention.
“First, let us talk about law; let us talk about agreement, the law is the constitution. Constitution decides the age which you can contest certain offices and there is nothing in the constitution that says zoning. Political parties are like clubs where you write agreements just like a social club.
“We can decide it is the youngest person who will be the chairman of the social club or it is the oldest person or the next female or the next male, that is the matter of agreement between people. But the constitution that sets up the climate of political parties formation does not prescribe zoning.
“The truth is that what makes an agreement specification is the honour in which it is made not whether it is written. If it was written, there would be no court cases of breach of contract,” he said.
Meanwhile, ahead of the proposed APC national convention, aspirants for the 2021 APC primaries, under the auspices of APC Aspirants’ Forum, have endorsed former Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, as the next national chairman of the party.
National Coordinator of the forum, Bashir Muhammed Yusif, who made the endorsement, said Yari has all it takes to lead the ruling party into winning the 2023 general election, judging by his experience as a party man.
Yusif said it was an open secret that the party needs a genuine party man with a firm grip of political party management and with a stint of the relationship between party leadership and the executive arm of government.