By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led All Progressives Congress (APC), Tripartite Consultative Committee of the executive, legislative and party leadership on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, had its second meeting.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Aug. 31, inaugurated the committee with a view to enhancing consultation within the party, strengthening its internal democracy, and improving chances of winning elections.
President of the Senate Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, who spoke with State House correspondents after the meeting, said the committee was working on providing the kind of climate for free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
“We look at issues of national concern to us; what is going on in the country; how do we address those issues that will make governance better and improve on our service delivery to Nigerians.
“Today, we had a very serious meeting, looking at all the issues that are germane to the polity; the issue of governance is always on the way on the front burner.
“How do we continue to improve the workings of the executive and the legislature for more efficient and effective service delivery to Nigerians; how do make the polity more stable; elections should be free and fair.
“How do we ensure that the National Assembly delivers of the amendments to the Electoral Act and the Constitution reviews to ensure that the polity provides the kind of climate for free, fair and credible elections and make Nigerians’ votes count on every election.’’
On the recently conducted governorship election in Edo, he said it was part of democracy to win some and lose some.
Lawan said that the party won the 2015 Presidential election from the position of opposition.
“If the opposition won governorship election in Edo, it is because we had a free and fair election which the President, his administration and APC ensured.
“And of course, our party also commended INEC and all the security agencies for making sure that there was free and fair election in Edo and the voice of the people of Edo counted.
“So, it is part of democracy that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
“ We will continue to ensure that elections are conducted in a free and fair environment.
`Who knows APC could win Ondo State and that could be because there will be a free and fair election in the state and I hope that those in opposition will not stand back to say the election is rigged,’’ he said.
He expressed optimism that the APC would win the Ondo State governorship election slated for Oct. 10.
On his part, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said there was need to change the political culture in the spirit of sportsmanship.
He said political parties that lost elections should be magnanimous and gracious in accepting defeat.
“So, I think it is a cultural thing we must definitely gravitate from so that whenever you lose election, that election must not have been rigged.
“ It is the assurance of free and fair process that we are driving for.
“”I believe that everything we are putting in place as a government with the full support of the National Assembly is that by the time President Buhari exits in 2023, the stage would have been set for the vote of the people to count in this country,’’ he said.