Bukar Ibrahim, senator representing Yobe east, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) may not win the 2019 elections “even with massive rigging”.
Ibrahim said this at Barcelona Hotel in Abuja, at a dinner and book launch to mark his 70th birthday.
The senator, who is also a member of the APC, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is not better than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) it replaced in 2015.
He said his dreams that the country would be better had been dashed because the APC failed to make good its promises when it gained power.
He added that the APC would have to do a lot of work to secure its position in the forthcoming elections unlike in 2015 when the ruling party had a smooth ride to power.
“Without mincing words, as an elder statesman, I must say that my dreams and hopes have been dashed,” he said.
“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.”
He warned that the north-east should not be taken for granted, saying he still has the ability to ask his people to go their separate ways if the APC fails to improve on governance, especially in its fight against corruption and also by respecting the rule of law.
“The economy has gone down because of our actions and we are blaming the past too much rather than solving the present problems. I am going to give a dire warning,” he said.
“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.”