The lawmaker believes rigging the elections might not even be enough to save the party from defeat in 2019.
Senator Bukar Ibrahim (Yobe East – APC) has warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) about the party's chances of victory in the 2019 general elections, slating the party's performance since 2015.
While speaking at a dinner to mark his 70th birthday on Saturday, October 27, 2018, the former Yobe State governor said the party should brace itself for a close battle because it has failed to fulfil its many promises to the nation.
He said the party is no longer any better than the People's Democratic Party (PDP), noting that rigging the elections might not even be enough to save the party from defeat in 2019 despite coasting to victory just three years ago on the massive goodwill of Nigerians.
He said, "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 seek 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."
APC needs to improve to win in 2019 – Senator Ibrahim
The lawmaker said nothing will stop him from instructing his followers in the northeast to vote for a different party in 2019 if the APC does not clean up its act and improve in every aspect of governance.
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 the 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."
Senator Ibrahim will not contest in the 2019 elections after he conceded his senatorial seat to incumbent governor, Ibrahim Geidam, who'll contest on the party's platform next year.
He served as Yobe governor between 1999 and 2007 and has served three terms in the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly since then.