The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and leader of the recently constituted presidential team on Reconciliation and Confidence Building, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, met behind closed doors to work out modalities for the peace process.This is the first time Oyegun and Tinubu were meeting one-on-one after the former’s letter criticizing the party’s national working committee (NWC).
After a meeting that lasted over 3 hours, Tinubu who spoke to journalists restated his position that change does not come easy, insisting that APC remains the hope of Nigeria and a platform through which the lives of the citizenry will be improved. President Muhammadu Buhari had penultimate week appointed Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building team as a measure towards improving cohesion within the party.
Acknowledging that there had been issues to tackle, Tinubu said, “The solution is to seek opinion and advice on the various complex around some states or if there is any national one, to reconcile, move the party in a cohesive manner and reposition if any and build the confidence among us”. On why he came to the party, Asiwaju said, “I started to say that I came for consultations since you are aware of the assignment given to me by the president and I am all ears to listen to various challenges that we have. We have this party and we all worked hard.
“After the last convention of the party, congresses were held from various wards to elect representatives from the ward, local government and state levels as well as the national level. We worked hard for victory. We have never governed before, but we won the confidence of Nigerians to govern. We have a creed to really serve the country, change and reform the country”.On the way forward, he said, “It is not easy to have those changes implemented like instant coffee. We have to grow it and face challenges. I sympathise with us and we should equally look at ourselves. Since we won the election, the expectations were very high and the good will was extremely high. But where are we today?
“The solution is to seek opinion and advice on the various complex around some states or if there is any national one, to reconcile, move the party in a cohesive manner and reposition, if any, and build the confidence among ourselves. “The challenges faced by our government and the president is enormous. It is only because people are not paying attention to the various statistics that are available and we have to push that. I won’t touch those areas yet. “The challenges of security, the challenges of reforms and re-engineering the finances of this country, stopping the corruption and challenging the status quo to change and reform ourselves is there. It doesn’t go away over night. You work on and work hard at it”.
For us, we have been patient, we have persevered to having this victory, but how are we now? We should equally face the immediate medium and serious challenges that politically we will be facing. I believe that our party is the hope of Nigeria to improve quality of lives and we will do that.” Earlier, while welcoming Tinubu, Oyegun said, “Your visit is very significant in view of your presidential assignment which I will describe as a peace ambassador, to heal wounds where the party has wounds and bring everybody together behind one single objective which is the APC being in good condition to be a fighting political force such that in 2019 the election will become virtually a runaway victory for the party. “There is no question at all that we have major issues with the National Assembly, major issues in Kano, Kogi, Benue states which is the current challenge that we are facing. So, we truly welcome your appointment and I want to say that we will give you all the assistance that you will possibly need to make your assignment a most successful one”.
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