By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress APC has distanced itself from any plot to foist a one-party state on the country despite allegations by opposition parties.
Against the background of concerns raised by the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling party said while it was trying to get people to key into the vision of the President Muhammadu Buhari-administration, it had no agenda towards having a one-party state. The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun stated this, Friday in Abuja at the Partyâ€™s two-day External Communications Workshop for State Publicity Secretaries.
Oyegun said: “Now that we are no longer in the opposition but have formed the government at the federal level and in 24 states, and we are still going for more, there is more work to be done. We are not trying to create a one-party state, but we need to sell our programmes and vision to our people even with greater vigour,” he said.
Oyegun defended the efforts to win over the support of more NigeriansÂ and their membership of the party, saying that such effort was intended to get them buy into government’s policies and programmes.
“We need to convince them to support the policies and programmes of the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari. We need to properly articulate the achievements of our respective state governments and sell the programmes of our Party to the people”, he said.
On his part, National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Bolaji Abdullahi urged the spokesmen to change their style from being spokespersons of the opposition, to being spokespersons of the party in power.
“I recall when I got elected, the question I got frequently asked was how I hoped to step into Lai Mohammedâ€™s big shoes. My answer was that Lai Mohammed was a great General of our Party in the time of war and he did an excellent job. And we will count his victories by the many territories he helped the Party to conquer. But I am brought in as a peace time General. My mandate is therefore different. I will probably be judged by how many friends that we are able to make.Â
“The Party at the national level has benefitted from this transition by changing communication leadership at the national level from wartime to peace. In majority of our states, it is the same people that led the communication during the election that are still there now that the elections are over.Â
“It is therefore important for us to recognise the critical challenge in making that transition between how we handled party communication in the time of war, which election more or less is and how we handle party communication when you form government”, he said.