In order to ensure fairness, justice, and unity before the general elections in 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari has reassured All Progressives Congress (APC) members that the party’s leadership will maintain the hearing and healing process it started.
He stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with some APC senators on the outcome of the party’s primaries and their implications.
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party had established machinery to handle the different grievances some members had made, the President stated in response to their objections.
He, however, urged party members to exercise restraint and demonstrate commitment to the ideals while the leadership continues to build and develop the APC and the country.
“I have noted your grievances, particularly as it concerns the just concluded processes, the cost to the nation, the threat to the majority position held by our party in the legislative chambers, and likely consequent cost to the electoral fortunes of our party as we approach the general elections,” the President was quoted in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.
“We must not allow these dire threats to come to pass. I must acknowledge that in every contest, there must be a level playing ground, just as there would be grievances at the end. That is the test of our democratic credentials, systems, and practices. Since the process’s conclusion, the processes have been inundated with various reports and complaints.”
President Buhari gave the parliamentarians assurances that the interests of the party and the country would be safeguarded and that justice would be served and displeased members would be made whole.
He promised to continue addressing the resulting issues and complaints through the APC apparatus in accordance with the party’s spirit, paying close attention to the results.
“I must also remind you of the primacy of justice in all our actions. If justice is denied, the outcome is usually unpleasant,” the President told the senators. “This is because you are the members who keep the party running.
“I should add that as part of the policy of using the party machinery for effective resolution of conflict, the Chairman and some members of the National Working Committee visited the National Assembly recently to dialogue with our legislators.
“The leadership of the party is currently addressing the outcomes as part of the way forward. I am encouraging all the party functionaries to adhere to the truth and be fair to all parties in any dispute.”
Speaking further, Buhari told the APC senators that the strength and victory of the party in the election would depend on the unity of members and the ability to prevent injustices or heal them, whether perceived or real.
He said, “As the leader of the party, one of my primary roles is to ensure that our culture of internal democracy and dispute resolution is strengthened by creating the opportunity for members to ventilate their opinions, views, and grievances at different levels.
“Notwithstanding the fact that we have accomplished 23 years of uninterrupted democratic governance, our journey is still in a nascent stage, and we continue to learn from our challenges and mistakes. Similarly, our party is still evolving in its culture and practices, and it is my expectation and hope that we shall attain a mature level in our internal conduct.’’
The President appreciated the senators for suggesting a conference to discuss the issues, including the party’s future and solutions to the problems caused by previous election-related activities, especially the primaries.
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Kalu, noted that at least 22 senators and members of the party were unhappy with the outcome of the primaries in their states, noting that they felt disenfranchised by the process.
He gave an explanation of the sacrifices made by the lawmakers for the expansion of the party and democracy in the nation and kindly requested the President’s intervention.
“Mr President, in the Senate, we have worked hard and consistently sold your programmes beyond party lines. Be always assured of our support,” Kalu said.