Nigeria’s governing APC party has split in two. The rift is seen as a major threat to President Muhammadu Buhari’s bid for a second term in office with presidential and parliamentary elections less than a year away.
The APC came to power in 2015 and has been plagued with an internal crisis for more than a year. This worsened recently following the election of new national and local leaders as some key party members alleged they were treated unfairly.
The APC’s breakaway faction, known as Reformed APC, is led by Buba Galadima, a former ally of President Buhari.
“The APC has run a ruthless and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the people,” said Galadima, the chairman of the Reformed APC said on Wednesday.
“It has rather imposed dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete application of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, impunity in the rule of law and constitutionality. It has failed to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerian and elevated nepotism to secondary height.”
The Reformed APC is not yet an established political party but the group is believed to already have the backing of some senior Nigerian politicians including the senate president, speaker of the lower house of parliament and some state governors.
Many in Nigeria say President Buhari’s government is incompetent and has been highly selective in its war on graft. The Buhari government has also received harsh criticism for not doing enough to protect citizens from Boko Haram and other extremist groups.
“The Nigerian people gave power to APC based on its promises and potentials. We are sad to inform that after more than three years of governance, our expectations completely dashed,” Galadima said.
The new splinter group is likely to join forces with other opposition factions to challenge Mr. Buhari as he seeks re-election next February.