PRESIDENT Muhamnadu Buhari said yesterday that the successful conduct of the All Progressives Congress, APC, convention at the weekend has set the stage for victory of the party in the 2023 general elections.
He also said it would be unbelievable to consider as trustworthy or acceptable any member of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that left the party but later rejoined it to struggle for its tickets.
Although the President did not mention any person’s name, it will be recalled that some of the presidential aspirants in the PDP , such as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, had sometime ago dumped the PDP but later returned to the party.
The President in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, formally congratulated the Abdullahi Adamu-led 79-member National Executive Committee of the APC, that emerged at the just concluded convention in Abuja.
He said the unity of members put on display at the convention put the party on a firmer footing for victory.
The President, who returned to the convention ground at the Eagle Square, Sunday morning, along with the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, to witness and celebrate the inauguration of the elected party executives, remarked that the smooth conduct of the election raised the prospect of a mouth-watering APC victory next year.
The statement quoted him as saying: “The APC Convention hosted this weekend sets the scene for an APC victory in the presidential and general elections next year. It is a victory over naysayers who believed the party was divided but are now disappointed,” said the President.
“We believe that it is equally a victory for the president who has ensured unity across all party positions; and it is a victory for the voters of Nigeria who can now be assured of a smooth succession to new leadership in 2023.
What the Convention made clear was how the media has been peddling fake news of division, when the hard reality of unity, cohesion, and indeed personal warmth between members of the party’s leaders – incoming and outgoing – was evident for all to see.
“Of course, the blame for this mindset ought rightly to go to the opposition who in all these years had done the work to only divide the country, leading to all manner of separatist agitations.
“But this is not the wish, nor is it in the character of the citizens, as was clear for everyone to see at the Eagle Square.
“When their fake news of disunity was undone by the facts, some in the opposition could not help themselves but take to the newspapers and the airwaves to find another way to shore up their reputations.”
The President also commented on the allegation that the new Chairman of the APC and some of the executive members were former PDP members.
He said: “That some of the APC’s new leadership were once in the opposition was the new line to take to the media, somehow suggesting that those who have left one party should not hold positions in another. Yet, do the Scriptures not teach us of the virtue of sinners who repent and change their ways?
“What the Scriptures say less is of sinners who repent, change their tune, and then choose to re-sin in full public view by returning to their former ways. Given that most important leaders of the opposition PDP first left the party before they returned to it, we might expect the media to ensure criticism of them is damning and absolute.
“It is incredulous that anyone would consider them trustworthy or acceptable candidates for any public office.”
The President enthused that the stage is now set for the APC primary elections later this year when the party’s new flag bearers will emerge.
“No doubt some will attempt to argue the impossible – that an APC primary election is a source of division while an opposition primary election is a source of consensus.
“But the good voters of Nigeria can see through such acrobatics and know the facts that, when the contests for 2023 come, APC offers a track record of success and leadership, while the opposition has only decades of failure and complicity in response,” he said.