Twenty-one months after crisis rocked the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Nigerian ruling party, on Saturday held a convention to elect a new
National Working Committee (NWC) ahead of general elections in February 2023.
The convention took place at the Eagle Square in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and was coordinated by the leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari, with the support of other staunch party members.
At the end of the convention on Sunday morning, a former governor of Nasarawa state and current Senator Abdullahi Adamu, emerged as the national Chairman, as a consensus candidate with the endorsement of President Buhari.
APC which was formed with the merger of four other political parties in 2014 ahead of 2015 general election, had been engulfed in leadership tussle after it defeated the then ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) which had been in power since 1999 when the country returned to democratic rule.
President Buhari who ensured that all executive positions were filled through a consensus to avert further imbroglio, called on members to remain united and strong and also to support the incoming leadership of the party.
“This convention is coming at a crucial time when we prepare for another round of a general election. Therefore, the need to remain strong and united for the Party to exploit the rich and abundant potentials at its disposal cannot be overemphasized.
We appreciate the right to hold different opinions and aspirations, however, such differences must not be to the detriment of the Party.’’
In the convention which held ahead of April 2022 primaries of all the 18 political parties, the 79-year-old two-time president of Nigeria, passionately appealed for the support of the incoming National Working Committee (NWC) in order to promote unity and avoid sentiments that are capable of causing disaffection and disunity.
“For those aspiring for party and public offices, your failure to realize such aspirations for Party offices or to fly the Party’s flag, should not be a basis for a campaign of calumny against the party. We should have the spirit of sportsmanship and always support the party to succeed.”
President Buhari enjoined the new NWC members of the 41 million capacity party to promote internal democracy and equal opportunities and ensure that party primaries are not influenced by “highest bidders” going into the 2023 elections.
He commended the Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee for reconciling aggrieved party members, purchasing a new party secretariat and the launch of an aggressive membership drive that saw three governors defecting into the APC, among others.
The reconciliation process gave the aggrieved stakeholders a true sense of belonging and assurance, President Buhari noted.
He also expressed happiness that the Party recorded massive and unprecedented defections under the Caretaker Committee administration.
APC received three sitting Governors, a Deputy Governor, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives and State Assemblies, and other key officials from opposition parties who defected along with millions of their supporters.
“I am impressed to learn that the membership registration and revalidation exercise undertaken by the Caretaker Committee, has recorded over 41 million members.
This has proved that we are indeed Nigeria’s leading and largest political party. It also exhibits our numerical strength and the potential to win elections at all given times fairly and squarely.”
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