Following the disquiet triggered by the ruling party’s primary elections across the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has pleaded with aggrieved members of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, who could not secure the party’s tickets not to switch camp.
APC Chiarman, Adams Oshiomole has been under fire to retain his position in the party after the Governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Abdul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara and others allegedly planned to oust him as the party’s chairman.
Buhari had earlier asked aspirants who failed in their bid to secure the party’s ticket to emulate Lagos governor Akinwunmi Ambode who has shown sportsmanship after losing his return ticket to a former commissioner in the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Last night at the dinner with APC Aspirants Forum at the Presidential Villa, Buhari said the primary motivation to contest elections should be to improve the country, and not for pecuniary reasons.
He called on the aspirants to be patient, remain with the party and work for its success during the 2019 elections, stressing that, “We must maintain our faith in the country,’’ he told the coalition of party members who contested the primaries”.
Those in attendance at the dinner included gubernatorial, national and state assembly aspirants who failed to secure the party’s tickets in the forthcoming general election.
Buhari said, “I spoke with the APC party chairman almost every other day, at least for an hour during the primaries. And sometimes, we met for two and half hours on ensuring internal democracy during the primaries.”
He pointed out that in spite of all efforts to appease everyone and give them a chance at the polls, some aspirants were still not treated fairly.
The President said he contested presidential elections three times before coming to power in 2015, stressing that, “I came back to power in this ‘agbada’ to convince Nigerians to make sacrifices that the country needs now for a better future”.
He posited that providence will always pave the way for the just, committed and patient politician who wants to truly serve the country.
Buhari told the aspirants that “those who mismanaged the resources of the country are still very much around, with incredible wealth’’, warning the aspirants to be vigilant and circumspect in making choices as the future will only be salvaged by those who love the country.
“I spoke with the APC party chairman almost every other day, at least for an hour during the primaries. And sometimes, we met for two and half hours on ensuring internal democracy during the primaries,’’ he said.
The President pointed out that in spite of all efforts to appease everyone and give them a chance at the polls, some aspirants were still not treated fairly.
“I urge you to stay faithful if your objective is to serve the country. I came back to power in this “agbada’’ to convince Nigerians to make sacrifices that the country needs now for a better future,’’ he added.
In his remarks, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the meeting was organised to address grievances and fallout from the APC primary elections across the country.
The minister said it would be unfortunate to allow the grievances overshadow the challenges before the country, assuring the aspirants that the government would assuage their yearnings to serve the country.
Malami said the aspirants should work collectively with the President in building the party and setting up a framework that would ensure healthier relationships and better internal democracy.
The leader of the APC Aspirants Forum, Hon. Yusuf Banki, said the network of 7,000 members will work to ensure President Buhari’s victory at the polls in 2019.
Also speaking, Nasarawa state governorship aspirant, Aliyu Wadada, said the president assured the aspirants that justice will be done as their cases would be looked into.
“The president told us his experiences from the military to civilian eras, adding that naturally it is never easy when your mandate is forcefully taken but whatever it is, we should remain as a family,” Wadada said.
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