President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday declared his total support for the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates in the 2023 general elections.
The president gave the assurance in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja.
Buhari, who dissociated himself from politicians who had defected from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties or pursuing cases in court against the candidates, said he would not betray or undermine the party ahead of the elections.
He also advised State House officials not to provide “a weapon” for the opposition to use against the government, the APC or its candidates in next year’s election.
Several members of APC close to the president including the former Senate Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, dumped the party in June following their defeat in the primary elections.
The statement read: “The Presidency wishes to put it on record, and at the same time, reassure faithful party members that President Muhammadu Buhari remains a ‘disciplined soldier’ of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and will, in all the coming elections, support only those candidates fielded by the party and no other.
“This is a warning to decamped party members and some others who are still in court against official candidates of the APC that they are on their own and nobody outside the party tent should link what they are doing to President Buhari.
“The President wishes to be quoted as saying that he is the ‘occupant of the high office of the President by the Grace of God who used the instrumentality of the APC to bring him to power with a historic verdict in 2015.’
“In 2019, he was returned with a bigger majority. For the first time, a non-PDP government came to power with a huge majority after 16 years of the Fourth Republic. His constant refrain is: ‘I will not betray or undermine my party by supporting candidates other than those of the APC.
“This statement is not against any particular candidate. However, our stand is clear that only those candidates fielded by the All Progressives Candidates (APC) will enjoy the support of the President and they are the ones he will campaign for. However, we welcome support for our candidates at all levels by other parties.”