President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), lost many states in the 2019 general elections.
Buhari said it is unusual for a ruling party to lose many states in an election but the APC-led government did so to prove that they are a tolerant group.
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He spoke at the State House while receiving Governors Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) who recently joined the APC, said the opposition won the states the APC lost in order to demonstrate that the ruling party respected individuals.
Ayade and Matawalle were accompanied on the visit by Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu and Governor Muhammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State.
“I congratulate you for leaving your constituencies for our great party. We lost many states at the last election, which is unusual for a ruling party. But we did it to prove that we are a tolerant group. We wanted to demonstrate that we respect individuals.
“We emphasized that we respect our people. That was why we insisted on free and fair elections. Leaders should show honesty and respect for their followers.
“To be principled and identify your objectives is a great quality that should endear us to our people. Your people will respect you more for having the courage to come to APC at your own time. Nobody forced you, but you believe it is the best way to serve your people. I value your decision,” the president said.
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, added, “this is one of the happiest times for us in this party. For you to have the courage to leave your constituencies speak a lot. I wish Nigerians will reflect about it.”
He told the two governors that their people would respect them more for having the courage to join the APC.
President Buhari handed the flags of the party to the two governors and raised their hands, saying their coming to the APC was very important to the party.
Speaking, Governor Mai Mala Buni said the governors joined APC in appreciation of the good works the president was doing for the country.
Meanwhile, the APC has announced that its congresses would commence on July 31, starting with ward congresses after which local government and state congresses would be conducted.
This was contained in a letter dated July 11, 2021, addressed to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), jointly signed by the chairman and secretary of the National Caretaker Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni and Senator John James Akpanudoedehe respectively and sighted by one of our correspondents yesterday.