President Muhammadu Buhari has said his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), may lose the 2023 presidential election to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or another opposition party if the ruling party does not put its acts together..
Mr Buhari stated this in an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on Thursday.
He spoke against the backdrop of disagreement on some issues around the APC convention slated for February.
It was learnt that one of the reasons the ruling party has not fixed a particular date for the convention is because the governors and some senior members are canvassing the option of a consensus candidate.
Mr Buhari said he is not a kingmaker and that those who want power should work for it.
He said if he yields to the pressure from the governors, which he did not specify, the chances of the party in the coming general elections may be jeopardised.
“We have a time frame; we have to work around it because the four-year cycle is constitutional. It cannot be interfered with by anybody. So, if the party cannot agree, then the opposition will take over.
“What did the PDP do? They thought that the opposition could not come together. But when ACN, ANPP, CPC, APGA came together, before PDP realised it, they were off. They are still off.
“The governors should allow the system to work. I am not a kingmaker. I have tried to get my position known that party leadership needs a bottom to top approach.
“Those who want power must work for it. If the APC can’t agree on the convention, the opposition will naturally take over,” the president said.
The PDP was in power at the centre for 16 years until 2015 when it was defeated by the APC.
While February has been fixed for its much anticipated national convention, the APC has not made public the exact date for the event.
This, to an extent, has continued to raise speculations of a possible plot to extend the tenure of the Yobe State Governor, Mala Buni-led caretaker committee.
As entrenched in Section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act, a political party is expected to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at least 21 days notice before holding a convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of electing members into any leadership seat.
Going by the provision, the party has between January 7 and February 9 to make its decision known to the INEC.