resident Muhammadu Buhari has said the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) will sustain the post-primaries healing process to ensure fairness, justice and unity before the 2023 general elections.
The president said this on Tuesday in Abuja during an audience with some APC senators on the outcome of the party primaries and its implications for the party.
He said that complaints were received from some members and that machinery had been put in place by the National Working Committee to address their concerns.
“In keeping with our ethos, therefore, I shall continue to address the ensuing challenges and grievances through the party machinery while paying keen attention to the outcomes.
“I must also remind you of the primacy of justice in all our actions. If justice is denied, the outcome is usually unpleasant.
“This is because you are the members who keep the party running. Some members of the National Working Committee visited the National Assembly recently to dialogue with our legislators.
“The leadership of the party is currently addressing the outcomes as part of the way forward”, he said.
Buhari encouraged all the party functionaries to adhere to the truth and to be fair to all parties in any dispute.
He told the APC senators that the strength and victory of the party in the election would depend on unity of members and their ability to prevent injustices or heal them, perceived or real.
“As the leader of the party, one of my primary roles is to ensure that our culture of internal democracy and dispute resolution is strengthened.
“This is by creating the opportunity for members to ventilate their opinions, views and grievances at different levels.
“Notwithstanding the fact that we have accomplished 23 years of 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 practices and it is my expectation and hope that we shall attain a mature level in our internal conduct,’’ he said.
The president urged party members to exercise restraint and continue to demonstrate commitment to the ideals of the party while the leadership should continue to build and develop the APC and the country.
“I have noted your grievances, particularly as it concerns the just concluded processes, the cost to the nation, the threat to the majority position held by our party in the legislative chambers.
“I have also noted and likely consequent cost to the electoral fortunes of our party as we approach the general elections. We must not allow these dire threats to come to pass.
“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 processes been inundated with various reports and complaints,’’ Bahari said.
The president assured that “justice shall prevail, aggrieved members shall be assuaged and the interest of the party and the nation shall be protected.’’
He thanked the senators for suggesting a meeting on the issues, which include the future of the party and resolving the challenges arising from the recent election-related activities, particularly, the primaries.
In his remarks, leader of the delegation, Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Orji 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 legislators had made sacrifices for the growth of the party and democracy in the country and asked for the president’s 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 said.