Ahead the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the All Progressive Congress (APC) against short cuts and illegal manoeuvers in the conduct of its primaries.
Speaking during a meeting of the APC national caucus last night at the presidential Villa ahead the National Executive Council of the party today, Buhari urged APC members to adhere strictly to the constitution of the party in conducting primary elections.
He, however, stated that regardless of the outcomes of the primary processes, it is imperative that members work together to ensure the victory of the APC.
While noting that he appointed a committee headed by Bola Tinubu to reconcile warring factions in the party, Buhari called on party members to give Tinubu the maximum support to succeed.
“ I now turn to the party differences in various states. To this end, I have appointed a committee, headed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a leader of the Party, to reconcile differences in various states.
“ We hope the committee will be given maximum support and cooperation to enable it to satisfactorily carry out its work and get the party united in purpose and in shape for the battles ahead.
“ I am very much aware of opinions and criticisms about the pace of government; in particular, the delay in appointments to boards and parastatals. Many boards have been inaugurated so far.
“Now that INEC has come out with the timetable for elections in 2019, the Party should prepare itself for congresses at wards, local governments, states and center” he added.
.Continuing, PMB said: “We should strictly follow the constitution of the Party in undertaking these party elections. We should ensure internal democracy and avoid short cuts and illegal manoeuvers, which have characterized the opposition party.
“ The APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any candidacy is not reached. Regardless of the outcomes of the primary processes, it is imperative that we all work together to ensure the victory of our party.
Noting that the APC succeeded a government with a record of unprecedented theft and systematic mismanagement, PMB said under the previous administration of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), Nigeria was heading for collapse .
He cited fuel subsidy fraud, arms fund diversion, depleted excess crude account savings, depleted foreign reserves, massive unpaid debts to contractors and suppliers amidst failure to invest or even maintain infrastructure as indices of the country heading for collapse.
“I must state at the outset that to succeed we must in all our actions and decisions follow strictly the constitution of our party. It is easy to forget that we succeeded a government with a record of unprecedented theft and systematic mismanagement.
Lest we forget, we must always remind ourselves of the dire situation in which we came to office.
“I am confident that the measures we are taking will tackle the acts of rural banditry, herdsmen/farmers conflicts, communal clashes, kidnappings and other crimes, he added.
In his remarks, chairman of the APC, John Odigie- Oyegun threw his weight behind the Asiwaju Peace Committee constituted by the President to reconcile all aggrieved groups within the party.
He said, “ I encourage all of us to support the committee. The success of this committee will provide great impetus to the realization of victory for the party in the forthcoming general elections.
“I wish to note that the road so far has not been smooth sailing, but we have weathered the storm. We should be truly proud of the achievements of our government at all levels.
“ We must brace ourselves to face and overcome challenges that will come our way this year, and they are going to be tough. Elections are generally very emotive.
“As we go into these elections, let us summon our individual and collective sense of duty to causes bigger than ourselves, and pledge to rise above our personal ambition to support the general good.
“Let us also think outside the box and find ways to reduce or eliminate the disputations that can arise from unfulfilled expectations,” he said.
Notable personalities present included Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogora, National party Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, state governors, members of National working committee, members of the National Assembly, members of National executive council, former governors and ministers among others.