Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to ensure that the process of the party’s primary election is credible and transparent.
He also praised the APC leadership for containing the challenges posed by recent defections in the party.
Buhari, who addressed the party leaders during the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held thursday in Abuja, said his administration would continue to work to fulfill promises made to Nigerians.
Speaking on defections that rocked the APC, especially in the National Assembly, President Buhari said the party was able to survive an attempt to destroy its structures.
The president said despite efforts to reconcile aggrieved members, some of them were still bent on causing crisis in the party.
“Despite reconciliatory attempt 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 is increasing by the day with quality people joining the party.
On the issue of primaries, President Buhari said the new NEC members assumed duty at a very critical time, charging them to ensure credible primaries to select party candidates for the 2019 elections.
He said with the general election coming very early next year, APC must strive to get its internal democratic process right and march as a team towards the election.
Buhari 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 would be for the good of the party and meet the yearnings and expectations of our teeming members and supporters nationwide.”
While delivering his opening speech, the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, noted that the ruling party has 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 makes 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 of the party,” he said.