By Akombo Aondona, Abuja
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday 3 July 2023 sue for unity and stability within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to build a party that can provide good governance in the country.
The President made the overtures to APC stalwarts during the National Executive Council, (NEC) meeting of the party held at the Transcorp Hotel Abuja, where he also congratulated members of the party for the success of the 2023 general election and urged elected members of the party not to be panic over court cases.
President Tinubu said: “This is my first address as president to the NEC after the 2023 victory. I join the acting national chairman to celebrate today and congratulate all of you. And to say thank you for all you have done. Permit me to equally say congratulations to the Senate President, Speaker and the entire National Assembly leadership for the way they have conducted their affairs thus far and the promise of the future from them. Thank you.
“All the elected leaders of our party, old and new, you have all gone through a process. It is the divine will of God that we are all here. To win the majority both in the Senate, House of Representatives, I recalled in the 11th meeting of 20th April, 2022 when the National Executive Committee of the party devolved some powers to the NWC in accordance to the party’s constitution to, among other things, organize our party’s primary. I’m happy that the NWC has fulfilled these responsibilities assigned to them faithfully. Let me commend them and once again say congratulations.”
The President continued: “I know election is just a step in the process. Good governance is another one. We have gotten the trophy. The President is standing before you and the reward for hard work is more work.
“The party has a responsibility to promote unity, stability and love among ourselves. And we have to fulfill your dreams and the dreams of our founding fathers. To be sure that Nigeria remains the focal point of our domestic and foreign policies. You are the drivers of the party, when we have all other passengers, the drivers and co passenger must not fall asleep and the break must be working. Party loyalty becomes very important.”
He added: “Yes we are facing challenges in the court but I think this is the most credible election in Nigeria. So, we must congratulate ourselves. As a democrat, those who cannot accept the results of a free and fair election do not deserve the joy of victory.
“There are governance issues and we are taking it heads on. We must oil the wheel, grease it and we are. I have submitted the ministerial list to the Senate for screening and approval. We are in the process of establishing fully the government of the people, for the people and by the people.
“I can see a number of my friends here and you have not been able to see me. It is what you all fought for to bring me here, we have governance issues and you will not see me often as you want to.”
President Tinubu stated: “Nigeria is going through some issues and I have sufficiently address it in my broadcast and the acting national chairman also spoke about it in his address. We will face it squarely to reengineer the economy of this country. We must find a way to satisfy the yearnings of the common man and we must ensure that all the policies we roll out work for the common man. Our policies are for the people not to punish the people.
“To the International community, I sent a message to Europe and America yesterday. To our partners, I ask how can you handle a barking dog and mad dog and prevent a barking dog from eating from the plate of your enemy. We are hungry and the continent depends on Nigeria. We need help but not at the expense of our joy, peace and happiness.
“The party is in your hand, let us redirect this party. Let us show the rest of the country that we are united for a purpose and if we veer from the path posterity will not forgive us.
“So, ladies and gentlemen let us take a few items on our plates, vote the chairman and secretary while we devolve some powers to NWC to fill the others after consultation. Let us do what we can today.”
Also speaking, the newly elected APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, promised to build and promote unity of the party and increase its executive and legislative seats in the country.
Gandije said: “With boundless gratitude for the confidence placed in me by leaders and members of our party, and with an unswerving resolve to honour that trust, I humbly accept my appointment as the Chairman of our party, the APC.
“I am deeply touched and inspired by the generous words of congratulations and encouragement I have been receiving and wish to extend my deepest respect and appreciation to all the leaders and member for their strong support.
“Our main focus will be promoting party unity and defending and increasing the number of executive and legislative seats we currently hold.
“Under my watch, internal democracy will be strictly adhered to with a deliberate policy to engage in wider consultations and making party functional throughout the year.
“More reforms will be carried out in the party in alignment with the current political landscape
“We all agreed that we must unite our members to achieve support for our government to respond adequately, urgently and assertively” to the challenges that Nigerians confront on a daily basis. The challenges include unemployment, poverty, insecurity, social cohesion and the rising cost of living.”
The APC National Chairman added: “I want to make a special appeal to Nigerians to bear with the President at this trying moment, considering that the country’s economy had been in shambles for years. I belief the policies and programmes to be unveiled by Mr. President when his administration fully takes shape, will surely turn around things for the better.
“Our party must remain rooted among the people, must demonstrate a willingness to serve and make sacrifices, and must be willing to acknowledge and address our weaknesses.
“It’s a huge privilege and an honour and a great responsibility to take on this job and I will do it with everything I have to the best of my ability for my party and my country.
“We will ensure a level playing field for all party members that want to contest elections under the party’s platform. Our primary elections would be free, transparent and fair.
“Let me also use this opportunity to call on members of our party and all the people of Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa states to close ranks and ensure that the APC wins in the forthcoming governorship elections.”