Ahead of 2023 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has urged members of All Progressives Congress (APC) to collectively work towards the sustenance of peace and promotion of more in-house understanding to ensure the party’s acceptability by Nigerians during polls.
This, he said, would help in consolidating on earlier successes recorded by the party in the last outing and not only win the APC new members but the presidency and other important positions across the country.
The President noted that the members cannot head into the election season with a divided house, adding that such would only spell doom and ruin the party’s continuity chances at the helms of affairs.
Buhari appealed to all members to try and make required sacrifices that would collectively restore a progressive and democratic political party, which can nurture and give expression to the dream of building a strong, united and developed Nigeria.
In his remarks at the virtual Emergency National Executive Council Meeting of the APC at the State House, the President reminded party members of the principles of maturity and respect that founded the party and spurred it to victory in 2015.
“In those times, decisions reached at both formal and informal consultations were respected. We trusted initiatives taken and believed that they were required to produce the needed political platform that could guarantee electoral victory. Every one of us as leaders ensured that those decisions were respected.
“I have, through consultations with the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and other leaders of the Party, agreed that our challenges in the party require that we take steps to rebuild the Party from Ward to National levels. The initiative to carry out membership registration/re-validation is, therefore, a necessary step. Membership registration, re-validation will lay the foundation for re-organizing our leadership, from Ward to Local Government, State, and National levels,’’ he said.
Continuing, he said the decision of the party leadership to dissolve the National Working Committee and constitute a 13-member Caretaker Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, June 25, 2020, was well-conceived as party members now enjoyed new atmosphere of peace.
“Healthy debates are now taking place and the potential for organs of the party to affirm majority positions as the decision of the party is now possible. What is required now is for all of us, as leaders of the party, to maintain discipline and ensure that this new momentum is protected, sustained and that decisions of party organs are respected by every member.
“Despite the challenge to restore peace in the party and the series of elections at hand, the fact that we have gained more members and that we are not losing members to the opposition under the present interim leadership indicates an improvement for the party.
“In fact, we have begun to win back our members who left us, and other notable political leaders are being attracted to our party. In this regard, I hereby acknowledge the return of many party stalwarts and their supporters, and particularly, His Excellency, David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State. This confirms that we are indeed making progress as a party of choice for Nigerians as we move towards the resolution of our leadership challenges.’’ he added.
Buhari said that the party’s NEC had a responsibility “to adopt, and dispassionately consider all the proposals submitted by the Caretaker Committee and grant all the necessary approvals requested to rebuild the party. To this end, I will be moving some resolutions for our consideration and approval.
“I believe that as leaders, our shared vision is to ensure that we are able to produce leaders that will not inherit any of the problems that led to the decision to dissolve our last National Working Committee. There should be no debate about the fact that we all want to have a united leadership for our party, APC, at all levels. We need such leaders to be able to manage big challenges that always come with elections.”