President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the governing party, the All Progressives Congress-APC, to brace up and work hard for the success of the party.
This is sequel to the announcement of dates for the 2019 general election by the Independent National Electoral commission INEC.
He urged the party leadership to organise congress, leading to the election of the party’s leaders from ward to national levels.
“Now that INEC has come out with the timetable for elections in 2019, the Party should prepare itself for congresses at a. Wards, b. Local Governments, c. States and d. Centre. We should strictly follow the constitution of the Party in undertaking these party elections. We should ensure internal democracy and avoid short cuts and illegal manoeuvres which have characterised the opposition party with the consequences that they are now divided. The APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any candidacy is not reached. Regardless of the outcomes of the primary processes, it is imperative that we all work together to ensure the victory of our party,” the President stated.
He advised members of the APC to shelve aside their individual differences, in order to consolidate on the successes that the party recorded in 2015, as he thanked them for the confidence reposed in him, stressing that the constitution of the party must be strictly adhered to.
“I must heartily thank the party officials and members for the successes we have achieved in the 2015 elections in securing majority of the State Governors, majority in the National Assembly and majorities in the State Assemblies. We must remember that this resounding success would not have been achieved without the unity of purpose we exhibited in challenging and defeating an incumbent government.
“Those outstanding successes would not have been possible without your hard work, dedication, and above all, sacrifice. I wish to individually and collectively thank you all sincerely for believing in me and remaining steadfast party members despite distractions and antics of the opposition. This unity and success are needed now more than ever, because elections are now looming. I must state at the outset that to succeed we must in all our actions and decisions follow strictly the constitution of our party. It is easy to forget that we succeeded a government with a record of unprecedented theft and systematic mismanagement,” he said.
President Buhari also said the successes recorded by the party should be well projected, to enable Nigerians know what the APC has done for the country.
He said: “Nigeria was fast heading for a state of collapse. It is easy to forget the fuel subsidy fraud, arms fund diversion, depleted excess account savings, depleted foreign reserves, massive unpaid debts to contractors and suppliers amidst failure to invest or even maintain our infrastructure namely railways, roads, electricity, in spite of having earned over US$500 billion from Oil & Gas alone, during the 16 years of PDP rule. Lest we forget, we must always remind ourselves of the dire situation in which we came to office. Therefore we must not be shy in projecting our tremendous achievements from 2015 to date. The territorial integrity of Nigeria is no longer under threat. A number of security challenges still exist, but they exist in even the most well policed and well secured countries. I am confident that the measures we are taking will tackle the acts of rural banditry, herdsmen/farmers conflicts, communal clashes, kidnappings and other crimes.”
He expressed optimism that the reconciliatory committee of the party under the leadership of the party’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu would succeed in carrying out its task of reconciling aggrieved members of the party. He therefore sued for support for the committee from all quarters.
“I have appointed a committee, headed by Bola Tinubu, a leader of the Party, to reconcile differences in various States. We hope the committee will be given maximum support and cooperation to enable it to satisfactorily carry out its work and get the party united in purpose and in shape for the battles ahead,” President Buhari said.
The APC National Charmin, John Oyegun, expressed support for the reconciliatory committee, as he urged members of the party to be united.
“I therefore fully support the Bola Tinubu Peace Committee constituted by the President to reconcile all aggrieved groups within the Party, and I encourage all of us to support the committee. The success of this committee will provide great impetus to the realisation of victory for the party in the forthcoming general elections,” he said.
Oyegun advised members of the APC to brace up for the challenges ahead, as the party prepares for the 2019 general elections.
“I wish to note that the road so far has not been smooth sailing, but we have weathered the storm. We should be truly proud of the achievements of our government at all levels. We must brace ourselves to face and overcome challenges that will come our way this year, and they are going to be tough. Elections are generally very emotive. As we go into these elections, let us summon our individual and collective sense of duty to causes bigger than ourselves, and pledge to rise above our personal ambition to support the general good. Let us also think outside the box and find ways to reduce or eliminate the disputations that can arise from unfulfilled expectations,” the APC Chairman advised.
Present at the National Caucus meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogora, State Governors, members of the APC National Working Committee, members of the National Assembly, members of National Executive Council of the party, former Governors and Ministers among others.