President Muhammadu Buhari last night implored members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to forgo their differences as well as their power of influence in the interest of the country and the party.
He said for the party to achieve its manifestos of addressing issues of security, economy, employment and corruption, such sacrifice was necessary.
The president, who made this call when he hosted the party’s leadership to a Ramadan breakfast at the new banquet hall of the presidential villa, restated his stance that “if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.”
Also, APC national leader and former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, who was at the breakfast, responded to criticisms by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the Buhari administration was too slow, saying the APC government cannot clean the 16-year mess of the PDP in 30 days.
In his speech, President Buhari recounted how the APC surmounted many obstacles and became strong enough to dislodge the PDP, and stressed the need for party members to forget their differences and unite for the sake of the country.
He said, “I always like to go down memory lane to show how lucky we are as a political group. At no stage was the decision taken by chance; it was all deliberate. The leaders of the parties felt the only way to wrest power from the PDP was for us to come together.
“I in particular was scared after previous failures of the elections of 2003, 2007 and 2011. We dissolved our various parties to form APC; then we applied to INEC. For once, I was grateful to INEC. We had gone with nine people to INEC to apply and INEC advised us that we needed at least 25 people across the people to form a political party.
“We were able to go back, raise 35 members across the country and then successfully registered the party. INEC then informed the federal government that we had met the requirements, hence we cannot be denied registration. Many doubting Thomases said merger had never succeeded in Nigeria but here we are.”
Urging the party members to close ranks, the president said: “I went into this long explanation so that you will appreciate how far we have come, and for a society as ours, if we respect the constitution, then all the greed and problems will be a thing of the past.
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