President Muhammadu Buhari has made efforts to stop the defection of some Senators from the All Progressives Congress (APC) following their failure to get return ticket to the National Assembly at the primary elections.
The President Tuesday received in an audience some APC senators on the outcome of the party primaries and its implications in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
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The lawmakers were led by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
Buhari, who noted their concerns about the future of the ruling party, praised their effort to find a solution.
He assured them that as the leader of the party, one of his roles is to create the environment for members to ventilate their grievances.
The President said he had noted their concerns over the outcomes of the just concluded party primaries, the threat to the majority held by the APC in the National Assembly and its likely consequences to the fortunes of the party ahead of general elections, stressing that “We must not allow these dire threats to come to pass.”
Buhari, who said there must be a winner and loser in every contest, added that he had been inundated with complaints over the primaries.
He, therefore, gave an assurance to continue to address the challenges through the party machinery.
The President, who urged party members to exercise restraint, assured that “justice shall prevail, aggrieved members shall be assuaged and the interest of the party and the nation shall be protected.’’
President Buhari thanked the senators for suggesting a meeting on the issues, which included the future of the party and pursuing solutions to the challenges thrown up by the recent election related activities, particularly, the primaries.
He said the leadership of the APC would sustain the hearing and healing process that it started to ensure fairness, justice and oneness before the 2023 general elections.
President Buhari told the APC senators that the strength and victory of the party in the election will depend on unity of members and ability to prevent injustices or heal them, perceived or real.
The President said: “Notwithstanding the fact that we have accomplished 23 years of an uninterrupted democratic governance, our journey is still in a nascent stage and we continue to learn from our challenges and mistakes.
“Similarly our party is still evolving in its culture and practice and it is my expectations and hope that we should attain a mature level in our internal conduct.
“I must acknowledge that in every contest there must be a level playing ground, just as there would be grievances at the end. That is the test of our democratic credentials, systems and practices.
“I have since the conclusion of the process been inundated with various reports and complaints. In keeping with our ethos therefore I shall continue to address the insuring challenges and grievances through the party machinery while paying keen attention to the outcomes.
“I must also remind you of the primary primacy of justice in all our actions, if justice is denied its outcome is usually unpleasant, this is because you the members keep the party running. I should add that as part of the policy of using the party machinery for effective resolutions of conflict, the chairman and some members of the National Working Committee visited the National Assembly recently to dialogue with our legislator’s.
“The leadership of the party is currently addressing the outcomes as part of the way forward. I am encouraging all the party functionaries to adhere to the truth and to be fair to all parties in any dispute. This is important because our strength and victory in the election lies in the unity of the party in our ability to prevent or heal any injustice perceived or real.
In his remarks, leader of the delegation, Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Kalu, said at least 22 senators and members of the party were unhappy with the outcome of the primaries in their states, noting that they felt disenfranchised by the process.
He said the lawmakers had made sacrifices for the growth of the party and democracy in the country, asking for the President’s kind intervention.
“Mr President, in the Senate we have worked hard and consistently sold your programmes beyond party lines. Be assured always of our support,’’ he added