The lawmaker representing Yobe East Senatorial District, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, has said that the ruling All Progressives Congress has a bleak chance to win in the north-east states of Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba.
Ibrahim who was governor of Yobe State from January 1992-November 1993, May 29, 1999-May 29, 2007, said rigging would not save President Muhammadu Buhari and the party from imminent defeat because the issues for which people of the north-east voted for the party in 2015 were yet to be addressed.
Instead, the lawmaker who is also a founding member of the APC said the situation was getting worse.
“Simply put, things have not changed and many things are getting worse and the people are bitter.
“We should not assume that we can win, even with massive rigging. The economy has gone down because of our action and inaction and we are blaming the past too much rather than solving the present problems.
“I am going to give a dire warning. Let the north-east not be taken for granted that we must support APC.
“Our interest in the North-East has always been progressive and I will personally be watching for required improvement in the APC before the elections.
“Improvement that can guarantee victory such as respecting the rule of law and releasing political prisoners as well as non-selective war against corruption, as against one sided witch-hunt,” he said.
Ibrahim said he, like most Nigerians, had a dreamed that the nation would be changed for the better when the APC took over in 2015, but that more than three years down the line, those hopes had been dashed.
He warned that unlike in 2015 when it had a smooth ride to power, the APC would have to do more to convince the people of the north-east geo-political zone consider voting for it because a lot had changed.
“Without mincing words, as an elder statesman, I must say that my dreams and hopes have been dashed.
“We have certainly not done what I dreamed we would do and in many ways, we are no better than the PDP that we sought to displace.
“As we move towards the elections, I have to give a dire warning to the APC. Things are no longer the way they were in 2015 when we rode to power on a cloud of euphoria believing that things will change.
“Simply put, things have not changed and many things are worse and the people are bitter. We should not assume that we can win even with massive rigging.”
The senator, who is not seeking re-election, said APC require to do a lot of work if it desires to return to power in 2019.
“Let the North-East not be taken for granted that we must support the APC. Our interest in the North-East has always been progressive and I will personally be watching for improvement in the APC.
“Improvements that will guarantee us victory (should) include respecting the rule of law and releasing political prisoners. If we are fighting corruption, let us fight every corrupt person and not select people in what may be seen as a one-sided witch-hunt.”
“I shall sit back and continue encouraging my party to do the right thing. But if we don’t, I still reserve the capacity to ask my people to go our separate ways and do what must be done for good governance to reign in Nigeria,” he said.