I don’t think the projections have changed. I think what has changed is people’s perception and reaction to the issues on the ground. Whatever the case, our presidential candidate has said repeatedly that he is not fighting this naira redesign issue at this point. Not because he does not believe in the policy. Not because he doesn’t think that it is good for the macroeconomic stability of fiscal discipline. He believes that it is good for Nigeria. But there is a big gap between its timing and the way and manner of the hush-hush approach to it.
If you look at the most advanced climes that also have to do this, some of them gave a deadline of two to three years. What is the problem? Why are we in a hurry to close the deal? If you say you want to do that, why don’t you allow people to have enough time? You have earned your money, you shouldn’t be made to suffer to spend it. That is what the presidential candidate and the party have been consistently saying. What we are saying is the way and manner those in charge of the policy are going about it, and in some cases, they are even economical with the truth. Nigerians deserve to know if you say you have mopped up so much, how much have you also given back into the system? Why take out about N2tn t and give back N300bn?
We don’t need any economist to tell us that there’s going to be a drop in the system. So it is the shortage that is creating hardship for Nigerians. There is a problem for the APC as a party and that’s a problem for the presidential candidate because of course he wants to be the president of Nigeria, it is important for him to ensure that Nigerians don’t suffer unnecessarily.
I don’t think that has changed much. The APC is still the party to beat. Our presidential candidate is still up and doing. We are the most organised and most prepared. If you look at the levels of preparation, no other party has done that. Not even close to us in terms of the levels of preparedness and all the kind of intellectual work that is going into preparing for this election. Yes, I agree that there have been some bumps as a result of this naira redesign and fuel scarcity. But by and large, we believe that APC is ahead and will emerge victorious. The election is just about some days away and depending on how INEC collated his results, you will be a witness to our prediction.
As a party, we are preparing for elections and we are convinced the presidential poll will hold on February 25. But if you know something that we don’t know, please tell us. But we are preparing because we know that the general elections will hold and we believe strongly that Nigerians will keep faith with the APC and our presidential candidate.
These are old talks. It is when elections come around like this that you hear all this kind of thing. Why is it just coming up now? We had an opportunity to bring this up a long time before now. We have been in the field campaigning and have gone to over 90 per cent of the states. Nobody has talked about it until now that it is a few days to the election. You’re talking about some funny amount somewhere. We don’t buy that idea. We are not even losing sleep over that.
I don’t think so. On the contrary, I don’t think we should be insinuating things that don’t exist. On the contrary, the President has gone with a presidential candidate from one campaign venue to another. He has taken his hands up and told Nigerians in clear terms that he is supporting him. You can see him do that. He has gone with him to the North-West, Middle Belt, and South- West and he has gone to the eastern part of the country. He has told everybody I am in support of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
So whatever anybody is thinking and whatever anybody is also planning is immaterial. What is important is what he has said and what he has done. Of course, I understand that some party members got frustrated about certain actions that happened. But by and large, the party believes that the President is still willing and we know that we are going to win this election.
What body language? Well, his last broadcast wasn’t to the APC, it was to Nigerians. He gave a live broadcast to all parties, whether the APC, the PDP, Labour Party, the NNPP and others. He was speaking as the president of Nigeria. There may be some areas that people are not comfortable with. But on the aggregate, we still believe that he will continue to support Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, irrespective of the body language you mentioned.
Well, we agree that it is hitting Nigerians and we are not happy about that. We have made it clear. The presidential candidate has made it clear that he is not happy about the fact that it is coming at this time. As I said at the very beginning, there is no proper system put in place to alleviate the suffering of the people. But that on its own does not mean that the APC is in disarray or APC is designed to fail. No, I don’t think so.
It is normal to say that because President Muhammadu Buhari is leading an APC administration. By God’s grace, Asiwaju Tinubu will become Nigeria’s president under the APC. So it is possible. These are two different people with two different approaches. But by and large, Tinubu means well for the masses of this country. He is the most prepared and governed state that is almost like a country of its own. He has grown the economy. He has brought stability there and we feel that it is easy for him. He has learned so much between the time he was governor and now. So many people have come in and we have had about two administrations in between. He too has also learned more and all these personalities in government are still his people. I feel that no matter the distractions and shocks that you see, APC is still on the path to victory.
Under the pressure of work, Yes. But we feel that we are on the right track. Every politician should be under pressure. You know this is something you have been preparing for and now, it is to only some days. Yes, you will be under pressure to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. There will always be that pressure. We’re so busy. Everybody’s working. We’re trying to do something that will give us clear victory and I must say we’re optimistic.
Oh, yes. Believe in BVAS. We believe this is the right time. Nigerians cannot go back to the old ways. This BVAS has helped to bring sanity to the whole electoral process. Anything that will help in making democracy better, we are all for it. The APC stands for it and APC is fully in support of INEC in that regard.
I don’t think they’re at war. I think that they only disagreed with some of the policies. You have to understand this. I don’t know why the media is emphasising only the negatives. There are so many other areas that they’re in agreement with. So if they’re in disagreement about this, and we have made it clear, we know this is what the Supreme Court. But we also know there will always be disagreements and that’s what makes the APC tick. The APC is such a robust political party that it has a process of putting itself in check. This is what is happening. Nigerians are not used to that. They are used to having a political party that will go in a direction and everybody flows. You know, we must have a process of checking ourselves internally and that is what you are seeing. That is what is giving rise to the feeling that I know the party is disintegration. Nothing is disintegrating. The party is intact and the APC is going to win this election.