- Nwobodo warns against pitfalls
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the country will overcome the current challenges facing it and still forge ahead as a united entity.
He said the powers of darkness has taken advantage of the situation to fight back in such a massive way such that they are beginning to threaten the very foundation of the country.
Oyegunâ€™s explanation came just as the former Governor of the old Anambra State, Chief Jim Nwobodo, advised the leadership of the ruling party against taking decisions that would be inimical to the success of the party at the November 18 governorship election in the state.
Speaking at a birthday party organised for him by members of the Inner Circle of Friends, University of Ibadan, at the weekend, Oyegun saidÂ the partyâ€™s promise of change has not come as quick as Nigerians had wanted due to some challenges on the way.
He urged Nigerians to continue to bear with the party and its administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, assuring them that the current hardship confronting the people will soon become a thing of the past.
He accused those he referred to as â€œthe powers of darknessâ€of deliberately plotting to rock the foundation of the nation and to cause it to disintegrate.
â€œWe must bring back peace and unity to country. Yes, these are challenging times. There is no question about it. The foundation of our country is being rocked deliberately. We promised change, but quite frankly, change of the immediacy that we promised has inevitably run against the kind of fight back that we are having today,â€ he said.
According to Oyegun, Nigeria has seen its worst days and is now on the verge of economic recovery due to the new economic foundation President Buhari is so laboriously and painstakingly putting together.
â€œBecause we have a man who is thoroughly engulfedÂ in due process and insist on due process, because we have a man as president who insists on fairness, who insists that justice must be given its due place and that everything must take place according to due process, the powers of darkness has taken advantage of this to fight back in such a massive way that they are beginning to threaten the very foundation of our nation. But let me say this. With all the emphasis at my command that change there must be.
â€œThat this country will stay united. But the current new economic foundation that our president is so laboriously and painstakingly putting together, a new country, the foundation for a new economy based on production, not based on the cheap easy resources of oil; a foundation that will sustain this nation, a foundation that will propel this country to greatness, a foundation that is destined to make us the first, the largest and the most potent black country on the surface of the earth is being put together.
â€œYes, it has caused pain, stress and there is a bit of hunger in the land. People are hungry and there is no question about that. But if you need to eat an omelette, it is inevitable that you have to break the egg. So, my message to our people nationwide is to bear with us.
â€œThe pride that you feel when you walk out and say you are a Nigerian is backed up by 170 million people and hopefully backed up by an economy that will bring us back to growth, to stability and development. The pride that everyone will feel is much greater than the attempt to disintegrate us into tiny mini republics. That will not happen.â€
While thanking the organisers for the honour done to him, Oyegun who was filled with emotion said: â€œIn some cases, I think it has been a charmed life. In every sense of the word, God has been good to me. Sometimes, I say that God has been partial to me. May God be partial to you.â€
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Nwobodo, while calling for peace, appealed to all the leaders to call the youths to order, saying â€œall stakeholders, elders, leaders, religious institutions andÂ education institutions to please call our youths to order. My generation is looking up to you our young leaders to gie us Nigeria of our dream.â€
He told Oyegun that â€œyours is an important position, that comes with enormous challenges; leading a party in government at the most difficult and delicate time in our country.
â€œAs we celebrate you, we pray that God will give you the wisdom to thrive at this time. As you already know, APC is preparing for a test of its might in the South-east, with the forthcoming governorship election in Anambra State in November. We also pray that God will guide decision in all matters concerning this election.â€
Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who attended the eventÂ along with some other APC governors, enjoined Nigerians to live in peace.
â€œWe must learn to live with our brothers. Nigeria is a great country and the greatness is based on the diversity of the country. So, we must keep Nigeria united and be our brotherâ€™s keeper. I have told my people to keep the peace and protect our brothers,â€ he said.