APC crisis: Okorocha, Ambode, 3 other govs seek Buhari’s intervention, speaks on Atiku’s candidacy

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Governors Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos, Rochas Okorocha of Imo, Umar Ganduje of Kano, Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi and Kashim Shettima of Borno have met with President Muhammadu Buhari to seek his intervention in the contentious primaries in the states.

The five governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, met with President Buhari, yesterday, behind closed-doors, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja and pleaded with him to intervene in the simmering crises occasioned by the party’s primaries. They were joined at the meeting by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

Okorocha, who is also Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, told State House Correspondents, that the issue of the party primaries were discussed at the meeting with Buhari, adding that the APC is ready to bring the warring factions together so that it can unite to face the challenges ahead of 2019.

He said, “We are here as a delegation of APC governors, to congratulate the president, for emerging the presidential candidate of our great party APC for the 2019 election and we believe that its victory well-deserved. The honour we have given him confirms our confidence in the man Buhari.

“The president is quite happy with this visit and he will soon give us a date as we requested, to celebrate him and tell the world about our joy and happiness that he emerged our presidential flag-bearer, which is victory assured come 2019,” he said.

Asked about plans to address issues arising from the recent primary elections in the party, Okorocha replied: “We have looked at issues concerning our primaries. In every democracy, we expect some kind of disagreement and we have kindly requested that something be done fast, to bring all warring factions together so we can have a united party to face the challenges ahead and we are happy that that will soon take place.

“Most of the problems are already being resolved, except for one or two states like Zamfara and where it becomes very difficult, we will ask for the President’s intervention in the matter.

“Reconciliation is the main thing we want because we do not want to go into this battle a divided family and we want to make sure that all governors are intact, all National Assembly members are intact while going into this battle,” he stressed.

The Imo Governor said the APC will not be dragged into what he described as noise by the opposition ahead of the 2019 election as he insisted that the party is not jittery over the emergence of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the main opposition candidate to challenge Buhari next year.

He said: “I don’t know about talking tough, we can’t be jittery and history is there to speak, history is very important and it is there to speak. So, as I said, we are not going to engage in this verbal war with anybody, we will be talking about issues.

“If we say ‘look, you are not good,’ we tell you what we can do and we cannot do and what others cannot do. APC is not going to join in those talkshops but we are discussing issues of what our party can for our people.”

“Our election, this time, will not engage on castigations or talking. We will be taking on issues; Nigerians are tired of political abuses. What we want to be talking about are issues, the track records of people involved in our elections.

“Nigerians are wise now. Before they elect anybody they will ask questions, what has been your track record, who were you before, who are you now and everything about you. And, for that reason, we are confident that in 2019, APC will go through.”

On whether the controversy surrounding Zamfara State APC primaries was part of the discussion with the president, he said, “Zamfara is one of the issues that we have addressed also.”

Asked what Buhari’s response was, he replied: “The president is quite happy with the whole outing and he will give us a date to celebrate him and tell the world our joy and happiness, that he emerged as our presidential flag-bearer which is victory assured 2019.”

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