President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) not to allow any aspirant vying for public offices in subsequent elections particularly the 2023 general elections to be imposed on other members of the party.
Buhari said that the NWC is to ensure that all members are given equal rights to contest for any elective seats across the country, saying this is a major tenet of the democratic system of government.
He enjoined the new NWC members to promote internal democracy as well as equal opportunities
and ensure that party primaries are not under the highest bidders syndrome influence as the party heads into the 2023 elections.
Addressing the Delegates at Eagle Square during the Convention;
The President stated that urged members to settle differences through the party’s internal mechanism
for dispute resolution and do away with backstabbing and name-calling.
While calling on members to remain united and strong as well as support the new APC leadership,
he noted that their support would ensure the party retains and expand the number of public offices under it.
“This Convention is coming at a crucial time when we prepare for another round of a general election. Therefore, the need to remain strong and united for the Party to exploit the rich and abundant potentials at its disposal cannot be overemphasized.
We appreciate the right to hold different opinions and aspirations, however, such differences must not be to the detriment of the Party.
“l passionately appeal to you all to support the incoming National Working Committee (NWC) to promote
unity and avoid sentiments that are capable of causing disaffection and disunity. For those aspiring for
party and public offices, your failure to realize such aspirations for Party offices or to fly the Party’s flag,
should not be a basis for a campaign of calumny against the party. We should have the spirit of sportsmanship and always support the party to succeed.”
He commended the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee for steering the ship of the party this far including; reconciling aggrieved party members, purchasing a new party secretariat,
and launching an aggressive membership drive that saw three governors defecting into the APC, among others.
Furthermore, He said…
“I want to congratulate us all for being part of this history-making event and to especially appreciate
the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) which has been on a rescue mission
under the leadership of His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe State Governor, for successfully piloting
the affairs of the Party in the last 18 months and organizing this Convention to elect a new National Working Committee that will take over from the Caretaker Committee.
“I am glad the Party under the Caretaker Committee has bounced back to life with the reconciliation of several key and critical stakeholders and groups who had hitherto left the party or were on the verge of leaving the Party. The reconciliation process gave the aggrieved stakeholders a true sense of belonging and assurance.
“It is gratifying that the Party recorded massive and unprecedented defections under the Caretaker Committee administration. APC received three sitting Governors, a Deputy Governor, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and State Assemblies, and other key officials from opposition parties who defected along with millions of their supporters.
“I am impressed to learn that the membership registration and revalidation exercise undertaken by the Caretaker Committee, has recorded over 41 million members. This has proved that we are indeed Nigeria’s leading and largest political party. It also exhibits our numerical strength and the potential to win elections at all given times fairly and squarely.”
On the Crisis within the Party;
President Buhari adducing his reasons for recent intervention in the affairs of the party assures that its intent was not to muzzle dissenting voices.
“Recently, l had cause to intervene in the leadership crisis which was about to cause confusion in the Party. Such internal disputes are common in young democracies such as ours, but we must avoid overheating the polity and not allow our differences to tear and frustrate the Party.
“Like I said earlier, it does not do anybody or the Party any good, when we, as leaders, go down
so low and resort to backstabbing and name-calling in the media.
“We should learn how to resolve our differences without jeopardizing our personal relationships and the fate of the Party. I want to thank the Progressives Governors’ Forum for heeding to my advice
and suggestions in settling the leadership dispute,” the President said.
Buhari called on all politicians and the electorate to abide by the new Electoral Act “ to promote
the process of election, enhance transparency, fill in existing gaps, and add value to Nigeria’s democracy for our democracy to thrive.”
By Taiyelolu A