PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, at the weekend, appealed to aggrieved chieftains of the party to remain committed to it, despite the crises that trailed outcome of its statewide congresses.
He made the admonition in his remarks at the party’s national convention
Recall that parallel congresses were conducted in some states, casting a slur on the credibility of the process.
A power block within the party, the new People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), had earlier claimed alienation in the running of the party and the Buhari administration
Led by former acting national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, negotiation between it and the Presidency has since collapsed. Speculation is rife that they are plotting to return to the PDP.
He said: “I want to assure everyone here that, despite a few lingering issues with the congresses in some states, our great party will emerge stronger after this convention. The unresolved cases we have is the price we have to pay for success, as everyone wants to be associated with a winning team. I am imploring all those with grievances to keep faith with the party until we put things right.”
He commended the convention planning committee led by Jigawa State governor, Abubakar Badaru for ensuring transparency of the process.
He equally thanked the outgoing National Working Committee led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun for their efforts in keeping the ruling party intact.
“I have been following the preparations leading to this event and I must commend this Convention Committee under the leadership of Governor Badaru Abubakar for providing a level-playing field and instilling confidence in both aspirants and delegates with their thorough approach and adherence to transparency.”
Buhari also spoke in support of the process of consensus which threw up certain aspirants unopposed.
“I commend all the delegates from across the country for your sacrifice and patience, travelling all the way from your different destinations and waiting in inclement weather, as it has been raining all day. Thank you for your commitment.
”The adoption of consensus as a first option is commendable and the process has led to a lot of healing and cohesion across the states and the zones, and where elections are inevitable.
The outgoing national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun said he felt fulfilled that the APC has remained as one united family, despite claims and insinuation that it was set for internal implosion. He expressed appreciation to his team and those he called founding fathers of the party.
He said: “When I look to my left and right, I feel a deep sense of fulfillment. If you read the stories on the social media, you will think that the party was at the verge of implosion. That it had divisions within it that were fatal. But you look around and see one happy family.
“I thank President Buhari specially for the opportunity to work closely with you, interact and the support him gave all this while.
“I will start with the key founding fathers of this party: Senator Bola Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, Prince Tony Momoh.
“You were the key heads of the political parties that accepted the idea of unity for the progress of the nation and because of you all; and of course, the later additions, nPDP and a faction of APGA, it is because of you that we are here today.
Chief Oyegun also expressed confidence in the ability of the new chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to steer the ship of the ruling party.
“I will end by saying that [William] Shakespeare told us generations ago that the world is a stage and that all of us are actors on this stage. We make our entrances and in due time, we make our exit. Today, I make my exit from the honour you have bestowed on me to lead you for four years.
In his remarks, Jigawa State governor and chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, Abubakar Badaru said his team had remained faithful to its pledge to conduct a transparent election and appealed to aspirants who may lose out in positions where elections were conducted to take the outcome of the process in good faith.
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