NATIONAL CONVENTION APC defies odds, no breakaway faction
Contrary to fears in certain quarters that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was going into a make or mar national convention since 2014, the party defied the odds as there was no breakaway faction.
Unlike the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which fractured at its national convention that will eventually seal its fate in power, the APC convention though had skirmishes with delegates of Delta and Imo states exchanging blows, nothing of significance altered the power equation in the party.
Apparently aware of the fears trailing the party, President Muhammadu Buhari told the delegates, “I want to assure everyone here that despite a few lingering issues with the congresses in some states, our great party will emerge stronger after this convention. “The unresolved cases we have is the price we have to pay for success, as everyone wants to be associated with a winning team. I am imploring all those with grievances to keep faith with the party until we put things right.”
Buhari further appealed to all aggrieved party members to eschew their personal interest for the good of the party.
“May I, therefore, appeal to all to put our great party ahead of personal considerations and to accept the outcome of the exercise in good faith. You are all important to our party’s progress and all must come together to ensure success in the forthcoming polls so as to enable us to continue the good work we have been doing for our fellow Nigerians,” the president said.
Speaking earlier, the outgone national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odiege-Oyegun, was confident that the party was entering a new era that will see it consolidate its hold on power.
“We provided the kind of leadership that has brought the party to this point today. A strong, united party. Yes, there are divergent views here and there but the essence is that the APC at the end of the day, is a strong party, a passionate party that believes in its ideals and the vision of Mr. President to give this nation the best leadership” Odiege-Oyegun said.
Apart from a few absences like former governor of Kano state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, Senator Dino Melaye, other notable chieftains of the party including the members of the aggrieved nPDP were in attendance.
Leader of the Npdp, Kawu Baraje in a statement explained that despite their presence at the convention their issues were yet to be resolved.
“We still believe that our loyalty should be demonstrated, that is why we attended the convention,” the statement read.
“The convention is ongoing now, despite the fact that there are so many litigation in the court against the party arising from parallel primaries in over 18 states of the federation.
“The fact that we were able to attend the APC convention and the convention is going on well, is not an interpretation that the suffering of the masses had been alleviated and is not an answer that the security in the country which has been seriously jeopardised is being addressed.
“We want to appreciate Nigerians and our supporters and we want to let them know that our struggle is still on course and until the party addresses some the major areas of concerns that will make easy for Nigerians we remain undoubted.”
Senate president Bukola Saraki saw his protégé, Bolaji Abdullahi, returned as the National Publicity Secretary, polling 2002 to defeat two others.