Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the recent gale of defections in the All Progressives Congress could not upset what he called the ‘super structure’ of the party.
Buhari, who was addressing the party leaders during the National Executive Committee meeting held on Thursday in Abuja, praised the APC leadership for its handling of the challenges posed by the defections, noting that the party was able to survive an attempt to destroy its structures.
The president said that despite efforts to reconcile aggrieved members, some of them were still bent on causing crisis in the party.
“Despite reconciliatory attempts to keep the house together, some members were hell bent on pulling down the roof. They left, threatening to go along with scores of people.
“But due to the work of the new party leadership, the exit barely made a dent on our super structure as they could not muster the figure they had envisaged to cause an upset, particularly in the two chambers of the National Assembly,” he said.
He said APC remained in control and was increasing by the day with quality people joining the party.
On the issue of primaries, President Buhari said the new National Executive Committee members assumed duty at a very critical time, and charged them to ensure credible primaries to select party candidates for the 2019 election.
He said that with the general elections coming very early next year, APC must strive to get its internal democratic process right and march as a team towards the election.
The President said: “Today, we are meeting to look at some major decisions that will ensure an excellent performance at the polls next year. Starting with party primaries at various levels, I urge you all to ensure that decisions taken here are those that will be for the good of the party and meets the yearnings and expectations of our teeming members and supporters nation wide.”
He said that the ordinary people look up to the party leaders for guidance and we must not disappoint or fail them.
While delivering an opening speech, National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, said that the ruling party had been able to surmount challenges to post an impressive performance in some of the elections so far conducted across the country.
“That these happened even after the defections make it all the more interesting.
“After our elections, we worked hard to meet with people from the states who had issues arising from the congresses and we reassured them that we would treat every case on its merit and I believe that we have done a lot of that and will continue to do what we have to do to ensure that there is peace and unity in the state chapters,” he said.