By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to make sacrifices required to build a strong political party so as to enhance national development.
The president made the appeal on Tuesday in Abuja during an emergency virtual meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC.
He also urged the party to retrace its steps and explore the kind of consultations that gave birth to the governing party.
“I want to appeal to all our party members and leaders at all levels to try and make the required sacrifices so that we are able to collectively restore our progressive and democratic political party which can nurture and give expression to our collective dream of building a strong united and developed Nigeria.
“May I use this opportunity to remind all of us on the need to recreate our negotiation spirit of 2012-2013 under our legacy parties.
”We must recreate the spirit that guided us to achieve the merger that produced the APC.
“In those times, decisions reached at both formal and informal meetings were respected because they were required to produce the needed political platform that could guarantee electoral victory.
“I have, through consultations with the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and other leaders of the party, agreed that our challenges require that we take steps to rebuild the party from ward to national levels. The initiative to carry out membership registration revalidation is, therefore, a necessary step,” he said.
The president advised leaders of the party to sustain discipline at all levels so as to maintain the achievements already gained by the National Caretaker Committee of the party.
He said: “I am convinced that in the last five months, since the appointment of the National Caretaker Committee, the initiatives taken have brought a remarkable new atmosphere of hope in the party.
“Healthy debates are now taking place and the potential for organs of the party to affirm majority positions as the decision of the party is now possible.
“What is required now is for all of us as leaders of the party to maintain discipline and ensure that this new momentum is protected, sustained and that decisions of the party organs are respected by every member.
“Despite the challenge to restore peace in the party and the series of elections at hand, the fact that we have gained more members and that we are not losing members to the opposition under the present interim leadership, indicates improvement for the party.
“In fact, we have begun to win back our members who left us and other notable political leaders are being attracted to our party, particularly, David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State.”
The president urged all attendees to dispassionately consider and adopt all the recommendations of the caretaker committee.
He said “The responsibility of our party’s NEC at this meeting is to adopt and dispassionately consider all the proposals submitted by the caretaker committee and grant all the necessary approvals requested to rebuild the party.
“I believe that as leaders, our shared vision is to ensure that we are able to produce leaders that will not inherit any of the problems that led to the decision to dissolve our last National Working Committee.
“There should be no debate about the fact that we all want to have a united leadership for our party the APC at all levels,” he said.
Earlier, the National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mai-Mala Buni, had thanked President Buhari for his total support to the interim leadership of the party.
Buni commiserated with his Borno State counterpart, Prof. Babagana Zulum, over the Zabarmari incident where more than 43 rice farmers were murdered by terrorists.
While giving the caretaker committee’s abridged report, Buni noted that a lot of aggrieved members of the party had been reconciled.
He said: “Before the emergence of the caretaker committee, our party was a theatre of infighting both at national level and in many states.
“There was a need to start the process of replacing our party leadership and to achieve that, we set up reconciliation committees.
“Tempers within our party have substantially come down although the works of our respective reconciliation committees are yet to be concluded.
“The NEC may therefore wish to review developments and direct accordingly,” he said. (NAN)