BY VICTOR OBANOR OSAGBOUWA
President Muhamadu Buhari has asked aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last conducted primaries to be faithful to the party. In the last few weeks, the president and the APC leadership met with governorship aspirants and aspirants for the House of Assembly in the APC. His message has been clear on why the APC has to work together as a party and as family.
The need to work together could not be over-emphasized by the president. He reminded the party that those who ruined the country in the last 16 years were waiting to capitalize on the disunity within the party. This, he advised members of the APC, not to allow to happen. No member of the party will be better off if this happens.
The president also reminded aggrieved members of the importance of patience and providence. Buhari’s democratic credentials is a perfect example of patience and perseverance. He contested elections three times. Yes, just as providence paved way for him to become president, it could also pave way for any member of the APC who truly remains on the path of integrity, loyalty, peace and justice.
There is work to be done. The damage that was done to the country needs more time to be cleaned up. There will always be opportunities for members of the APC who have consistently remained on the path of justice and integrity to serve the nation.
The damage done by the last administration requires tremendous work to be done by members of the APC at all levels. Some members of the opposition could argue that 4 years was enough to change Nigeria into a country of our dreams. The APC agrees with this assertion: as a party, the APC has set the foundation strategically for this happen. In the next few years, the fruits that have been planted by the APC will spring up for all to see. The mileage gotten in agriculture, the fight against corruption and insurgency will be more visible for all to see in the coming years. Anyone building a skyscraper would normally spend more time on the foundation than someone building a bungalow.
The foundation has been built. So much has been achieved in the last 3 years of this administration. Today, Nigeria is sufficient in rice production. The president had to fight all kinds of cabals to make this happen. A similar kind of fight is going on in the power sector. The APC needs all hands to be on deck to pass this message to the grassroots. Members of the opposition will do everything possible to blur this message, but we shouldn’t let it happen.
Just as the president reminded members of the party, the purpose for venturing into politics should not be for personal gain, but to improve the country. This admonition should not be taken casually because it has so much wisdom in it: when you decide to serve humanity, providence has a way of rewarding you. I quite agree with this assertion as a previously aggrieved aspirant of the House of Representative; and would continue to admonish all aggrieved party members at all levels to sheath their sword as tomorrow holds a better day for us like Abraham Lincoln.
Also, as the national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said there will always be a winner in any race. So, what is required is for all to work with the party in ensuring its success in the forthcoming elections.
Fundamentally, as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, posited, there are little challenges in the party, but this challenge should not be allowed to blur the bigger picture and the plans the APC has for the country.
There is no organization without issues, but what matters is the maturity with which these issues are resolved. The nation wide reconciliation effectively achieved by the party leadership in the past few weeks shows that the APC is actually a democratic party. There are many parties where aspirants are too afraid to speak up when injustice is meted out on them. But in the APC, this is not the case.
The APC still remains the best option for Nigeria. Let no one deceive you.
Osagbouwa lives from Benin.