APC: SETTING THE PACE IN NATIONAL UNITY
When the idea was mooted for a mega party to confront the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), political jobbers, blind critics and hired sycophants described it as an illusion. Those who thought nothing good could come out of the merger of political parties in Nigeria need now to re-examine themselves.
Since its registration as a national party, despite few challenges, the party has over the few years proved to be truly national, transcending tribe, region or religion. It has steadily grown to become a full blown shield of the hitherto deprived, a threat to corruption, maladministration, stealing and abuse of human rights.
The gates of hell could not prevail against it because the great leaders who nursed the idea to maturity are still with their vision intact. They have kept on injecting new ideas to keep the flames burning brightly. From Lagos to Rivers, Edo to Kano, Osun to Zamfara, Nasarawa to Ekiti, Ogun to Yobe, Borno to Kwara, Kebbi to Adamawa, Bauchi to Katsina, Niger to Sokoto, Kaduna to Taraba, it is all revolutionary reforms; although painful, yet soothing the fragile nerves gently. Nigerians are witnessing gradual change from insincerity to probity and deceit to reality: Not a nebulous “Transformation Agenda” on billboards, on television screens, selected newspaper pages and radio jingles. Light is gradually illuminating the minds of the shortchanged and victims of official rascality, deceit and high-handedness.
To demonstrate their unflagging commitment to a “nation that achieves its full potential and promise” and a resoluteness to surmount all obstacles and “work towards a nation that is economically and socially vibrant, peaceful, just and secure”, leaders of APC at all levels are having sleepless nights to make sure things work to please the downtrodden. This dutiful action of the leaders is no doubt commitment personified and worthy of emulation. A leader is the man who leads at the battlefront and not the man who gives excuses on why he could not visit a troubled part of his country until he was forced by critics. APC governors are composed and determined. They all come with wide political and professional experience that will help galvanize a solid party for a better Nigeria we can all be proud of.
In his speech at the party’s first national convention to elect the first set of its national officers, one of the strongest pillars of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, underscored these obvious facts: “That we pulled this merger off is something beyond punditry. It was a merger destined to fail, yet it survived. It was no easy task, but it was a task that needed to be done. This party, the APC, is here to stay. We have provided Nigerians with a credible alternative at a time that it is most needed. Therefore, we cannot afford to fail or falter. Our eyes are set on a goal bigger than all of us and our destination is a Nigeria where good governance subsists and millions of our people are empowered”.
Another pillar of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari, lamented the obvious ineptitude, weakness and lack of capacity to solve the problems bedeviling Nigeria by then President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Buhari specifically denounced a situation where the government of Jonathan failed woefully to secure the lives of Nigerians due to large scale corruption and unbridled impunity. He assured that, with the APC, the security and the welfare of the people would be topmost priority. “What was the state of infrastructure in the country in 1999 and the situation today? We have taken all the pains and we remain resolved to build this country. This country will not be completely destroyed”, Buhari said. “We came together in order to stop the impunity that has reversed the progress this country has made so far. This convention is strategic to the development of the APC. All those who lead should know that they have the trust of Nigerians to protect”, he concluded.
In his remarks, another pillar of the party, Atiku Abubakar insisted that Nigerians now have the necessary wherewithal to change a government that is corrupt, weak, inept, and lacks solution to the problems of the country. “You have got every reason to change this government that has no clue to the problems of this country. This government has no business being in office after 2015. I will be at the forefront of ensuring that this change happens”. And it happened as assured by Turakin Adamawa.
In his famous remarks on the success of the merger, Honorable Yakubu Dogara, now Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives said, “We have fused together, despite our imaginary differences, to salvage our fatherland from imminent collapse. We are determined to forge ahead no matter the odds until we restore probity and sanity in our political system of governance. We love Nigeria and we are ready to die for the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
APC is a party that nobody gave any chance of survival except its leadership and the massive support it received across the country from the deprived who felt it was time for a change. The party’s membership registration nationwide and the congresses to elect delegates to the national convention, gladdened the hearts of Nigerians including former special adviser to former president, Jonathan, Professor Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali who specifically noted that APC’s first national convention was a success, though he failed to denounce his membership of PDP, perhaps for obvious reason.
Today Nigeria is undergoing a genuine re-branding exercise. We must sift the chaff from the grain to attain progress. Nigeria must get rid of those that malnourished it for 16 years. Crooks and rogues in company of their clowns and sycophants must be punished. That is a duty we must all embark upon without fear or favour.
Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, APC national chairman confidently said, “The PDP is on its way out of circulation as a political party for the good of Nigeria. APC has so much to do to correct the wrongs of and the past 16 years of PDP’s misrule. Your wait is over. Your prayers have not been in vain. Help is on the way. The APC has come to stay to salvage Nigeria from imminent collapse”.
Now that the long awaited alternative to the PDP has come, it is left for progressive Nigerians to support it to truly transform the political landscape, redeem Nigeria’s image, murder corruption and ensure that all our social, health and economic infrastructures are revamped and made functional. It is only then that we can be free from the blight of unemployment, dead industries, unnecessary waste of human capital; epileptic power supply will give way to sanity in the oil and gas sector, restoration of agriculture, housing for all, free relevant quality education, free quality comprehensive healthcare, social welfare for the vulnerable, roads and power infrastructure, better management of our abundant natural resources, strengthened peace, security and foreign policy.
To achieve all the stated with ease, APC members should strive to eschew internal rivalries occasioned by contest positions or any other form of grievance as the task ahead may not be easy. Ideally, all aggrieved members of the ruling party should close ranks with the leadership at all levels and move the party forward as members of the same family piloting the affairs of Nigeria to greater heights.
To borrow from Bauchi state Governor, Muhammed Abubakar who said, “We must never lose sight of the fact that the collective destiny of Nigerians is far greater than our individual or group interests, ambitions or grievances. We must lead by example and strive to bequeath lasting legacies to generations yet unborn”. It is now left for Nigerians to bury their imaginary differences, rally round the APC leadership for a better Nigeria. With the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has ignited the engine for even development of Nigeria devoid of corrupt practices and ethno-religious sentiments.
My special congratulation goes to the President, for going through the pains to assemble a formidable team of credible persons with integrity, particularly the following; Generalissimo of the Commonsense Revolution for Change Rt.Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Barrister Solomon Dalung, a detribalized Nigerian and my brother Malam Adamu Adamu, a tested patriot. Nigerians are eagerly waiting to reap from the fruits of the revolution.