The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Peace and Reconciliation Committee, on Monday urged aggrieved aspirants of the party to learn from how the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, who took the outcome of governorship primary in his state with equanimity.
The Chairman of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee in Southwest and Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima and the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Ahmed Nasir El-Rufai, called on the aspirants to put the interest of the party at heart and embrace the peace initiative of the party.
Other members of the committee including the Managing Director of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, former Ekiti Deputy Governor, Prof Modupe Adelabu and Hajia Seida Usman-Bugaje, said there was need for people to eschew crisis and work for the party’s unity ahead of 2019.
Speaking while interfacing with the aggrieved aspirants in Ondo and Ekiti, Shettima said the way Ambode handled the outcome of the primary in Lagos had made him a darling of many Nigerian statesmen, urging the aspirants to view life from that perspective.
“From 1999 to date, Governor Ambode, who is also a member of this committee, I don’t think any Nigerian politician has demonstrated his level of courage in the way he handled the governorship primaries in Lagos.
“He is a governor who has worked exceptionally, but as I said politics sometimes comes with unpredictable outcomes. Our courage in reacting to situations like Governor Ambode has withstood is what separates men from boys.
“I think anyone unhappy with the outcome of the APC primaries should draw inspiration from Governor Ambode”, he advised.
Shettima said the fact that the national working committee set up the committee confirmed that the party appreciates the fact that all members are given due recognition.
He said it could have been disastrous for APC to allow the crisis to fester by not taking time to persuade the aggrieved members, saying the aspirants should cooperate with the committee to be able to proffer lasting solution to all the disagreements.
“Nigeria currently has about 120,000 polling units and for President Muhammadu Buhari to win, he needs votes from all these units relying on party members to garner to be able to get votes. And in most cases, these are people the president may or may never know.
“We are here to listen to you, we didn’t come here with a mindset. But we are pleading that you to join hands with us to resolve all these crises.
“Even our own leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the first victim of party’s compromises. When the Vice Presidential candidate to President Buhari, he had to painfully compromise his interest for over all interest of the party,” he said.
Governor el-Rufai, on his part, expressed joy that the crisis in Ekiti was not as huge and convoluted like Ondo State, expressing fear that the party risks the chance of losing Ondo State if unity is discarded by party members.
“If we win at the State and federal levels, we stand the chance of accommodating everybody but when we lose, then the party will be a greatest loser.
“In Kaduna State, I had issue with APC but I never had the intention of leaving the party. I stayed in the party and fought until justice prevailed. So, we stand to gain nothing if we continue to fight on. We must listen to ourselves and find solution to all these crises together,” he said.