The aggrieved members of the ruling All Progressives Congress that lost in the recent party primaries finally met President Buhari on Tuesday the 30th of October, 2018. The group under the auspices of APC Aspirants Forum comprising of governorship, federal and state aspirants in an interactive dinner with the president had in attendance the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, attorney general of the federation and minister of Justice, Hon. Abubakar Malami (SAN), Minister of aviation (state), Sen. Hadi Sirika and other government functionaries. Stating their grievances in a bid to get Justice and move the party forward, the forum led by its chairman, Alhaji Bashir had initially met on several occasions with the Presidential appeal committee chaired by Alhaji Faruq Adamu Aliyu in the interest of the aggrieved aspirants before meeting President Buhari. The group in an official statement read by its secretary, Honorable Sherrif Banki thanked President Buhari for inviting the leadership of the forum to a dialogue, stressing that they have come to represent over seven thousand aspirants that were manipulated at the recent party primaries and hence the need for redress.
” Mr. President before you today are Representatives of over seven thousand aggrieved aspirants of the All Progressives Congress nationwide. Your administration hinged its campaign promises on three cardinal points. Economy, fight against corruption and Security. Mr. President, while we salute your fight against corruption, we are here to draw your attention to the open and brazen stealing of the mandate of thousands of our members during the last All Progressives Congress Primaries across the country. Mr. President, only those who planned to loot our treasury are comfortable with stealing the people’s mandate. We cry to you today for redress because we know that no one knows the pain of a stolen mandate more than you. Between 2003-2011, Mr. President you personally suffered the agony and pains of a stolen mandate. Today, all of us in this room stand before you with pain and grief in our hearts and we ask you for Justice. The just concluded All Progressives Congress Primaries is a shame to our country and our party. It was a complete departure from the ideals of the founding fathers of our great party, the All Progressives Congress and an attempt to rubbish the hard fought anti-corruption crusade of this administration.”
Honorable Iman Ibrahim Sumeiman, the APC aspirant for Kokona-Keffi federal constituency, Nasarrawa state told the President that women and youths form eighty percent of the electorate and such must be carried along. She stressed that should the aspirants forum call on youths and women to form their party, they will definitely win because they are the majority. In her words, ” We chose to remain in the APC because of your personality, Mr. President and we strongly believe that you should carry we the women and the youths along”
Also lending his voice to the matter, the National spokesperson and publicity secretary of the forum, Honorable Balami Isaac, an aspirant for Hawul, Askira-Uba federal constituency, Borno state, thanked the president for setting up a high powered delegation from his cabinet to interface with the aggrieved APC aspirants forum. He stressed that President Buhari’s timely intervention in the crisis has averted mass defection of aggrieved members from the APC. Balami advised the President to be wary of political sycophants who will deceive him with the promise of millions of votes as it was done to the previous administration. He said; ” Mr. President, politics is local and before you are professionals across the country that are very close to the grassroots. People who aspired for governorship, Senate, federal house of Representatives and state house of assembly offices. Should the needful be done, over seven thousand aggrieved members of the APC have the capacity to deliver fourty million votes for you come February, 2019″. Balami admonished the President to key into the existing Goodwill and love by the masses by working with the APC aspirants forum. The attorney general of the federation and Minister for Justice, Hon. Abubakar Malami (SAN), who is also a member of the Presidential appeal committee assured the forum that the party’s internal democracy is the utmost desire of President Buhari. ” His excellency, Mr. President, to be sincere shares your grievances, disappointments and appreciates the fact that we must work together to consolidate the achievements of the last three and half years for the good of all us and the future generation of Nigeria. In his reaction, President Buhari thanked the aggrieved APC aspirants for the faith reposed in him and encouraged them not to give up on Nigeria.
He said “we are in a state of political development where we refuse to learn from other people’s mistakes and our own mistakes. It is not going to be easy but time is in your favour, you are much younger. So please, don’t give up. Maintain your constituencies. Keep firm of the clear objective; this country, this country, this country. You must maintain your face in your country, let us not give up.” He assured them that his administration will not give up on the fight against corruption and impunity. He jokingly reminded them that his mandate was also stolen three times until the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) was introduced, which brought about his victory. The meeting ended with members of the APC aspirants forum making a presentation to President Buhari in appreciation of his leadership for the greatness of the nation.
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