*Photo: Buhari *
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja urged leaders and members of All Progressives Congress (APC) to channel their energies into improving fortunes of the party in the forthcoming elections, and avoid squabbling that easily distract and create disharmony.
Receiving APC National Assembly leadership at the State House, the President reminded members of the proximity of the election dates set by INEC, admonishing that positions should be harmonized with a bigger picture of winning elections and providing good governance.
“As you all know, the National Convention of our party, which we have committed to, is holding on the 26th March, 2022. And we cannot afford to do anything that will jeopardize the chances of the party in the 2023 General Elections. The limited time frame of the INEC time table does not permit us any room for delay or further squabbling. We must therefore in the light of this reality consistently keep our eyes on the ball and refuse any distraction.
“A critical segment of our national democratic process is the National Assembly. Being representatives of our people from all over the country, the National Assembly especially the 9th Assembly has exhibited commitment to a peaceful democratic process in its conduct and utmost maturity in its relationship with other arms of government. I commend you, the leadership for this success.
“Distinguished Senators and Honorable Members, we have an obligation to conduct the upcoming convention in a manner that not only fortifies the unity of our party but also improves the prospects of our electoral fortunes in the 2023 general elections. You have an important role to play in ensuring that this happens,’’ he said.
President Buhari told the lawmakers that a zoning template was produced and adopted by the party after wide consultations in order to ensure that the leadership was reflective of the diversity in unity while representing various dynamic interests.
“It is imperative that we adhere to that template,’’ he noted, adding: “The time available to us is limited and I therefore enjoin you to collaborate with the various stakeholders within and outside your respective states and zones to agree to work together and harmoniously in electing into the allotted positions appropriately, as stipulated in the provided template. This will not only produce a smooth process and limit friction but will enhance the image of the party positively and strengthen our over-all position of dominance in the political space.’’
The President said he met with the governors and the party national chairmanship aspirants yesterday, Wednesday, to reiterate the need to go into the convention with a united front.
“It is the same reason why I invited you today,’’ he said, “We should all do our part to ensure the success of this convention. This will fortify us for the campaigns ahead of us.’’