The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has asked leaders of the party in local governments to reach out to all aggrieved members at the grassroots and bring them back into the progressives fold, in order for the party to approach 2023 general election as a united group and not disunited.
Aside from reuniting with aggrieved members, Tinubu, who is the party’s national leader, asked that they should also bring more people into the fold, so as to increase the APC membership base before the upcoming poll in the country.
He made the recommendation on Wednesday when he returned to his political base, Lagos APC, for the first time after winning the party’s presidential ticket in fiercely contested primaries.
Activities in the area were brought to a halt, as Lagos APC leaders, Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) members, and thousands of party faithful received the presidential candidate.
Tinubu, who was at Lagos APC secretariat on Acme Road in Ogba for the party’s caucus meeting, shelved other engagements to reunite with his political family and urged them to forgive one another and become more united for the party to retain power in 2023.
The APC flagbearer urged party supporters to move out to the communities in their numbers and canvass voters. The work, he said, must start with the 57 local council chairmen, charging them to reach out to aggrieved members of the party at the grassroots in order to deliver more votes for APC at the general elections.
He said: “Our Local Government chairmen must do better than any other person in delivering votes for our party. You met this party already built with structures across the communities. There may be little cracks here and there, you know what to do. Manage your anger. There is no politics without anger and pain. But with the pain comes the joy of victory.
“We are giving you the assignment to go back and recruit others. We must forget about the opposition, let’s put out the effort into the voters. This is the time to reach out to aggrieved members and invite them back to the party fold. This is not the time to be angry and spill the beans. We must work together to achieve the bigger goal before us.”
Meanwhile, Tinubu told the gathering that he returned to his political base to meet the Lagos APC family stronger than he left it, which he described as a joy to him.
According to him, those entrusted with the administration of the party affairs after he weaned himself off the supervisory duty had not made him regret his decision to pursue his presidential ambition.
Tinubu passed a vote of confidence on State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and other party leaders for nurturing the APC political machinery in the State, stressing that the party remained unbeatable in Lagos.
He said: “I left Lagos for Abuja, leaving the party members with Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat, leaders of the Governor’s Advisory Council, and other party leaders. They are the ones who released me to go to Abuja to contest. I left with many doubts and I was uncertain about what would be the fate of the party. I was constantly in touch with the Governor and his deputy.
“Sometimes, I would call the party chairman and ask them if we were doing the right thing in Lagos. The reports always gave me more courage and confidence to move on with my engagement in Abuja. I thank all of our leaders for keeping the party stronger. I handed over to you an undefeated platform in Lagos. The manner with which the party affairs have been conducted shows these people have fairly managed the home base.”
Tinubu recalled that his journey to secure the party’s presidential nomination in Abuja was littered with uncertainties, but said the support raised from Lagos APC leadership boosted his confidence to move on and win the primaries.
The party’s National Leader said he was in the presidential race to win, but said his fate was in the hands of the party members who, he said, must work hard to get votes for the party at the polls.