President Muhammadu Buhari has again appealed to aggrieved All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants not to leave the party.
The appeal came three weeks after he asked those who failed in their bid to secure the party’s ticket to emulate the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, who lost his reelection ticket but did not leave the ruling party.
The president had a dinner with the aggrieved aspirants at the Presidential Villa last Tuesday night.
Those in attendance included gubernatorial, national and state assembly aspirants who failed to secure the party’s tickets in the forthcoming general election.
Buhari urged them to be patient, remain with the party and work for its success during the 2019 elections.
While briefing State House correspondents after the dinner, a gubernatorial aspirant of Nasarawa State, Aliyu Wadada, said the president assured the aspirants that justice would be done as their cases would be looked into.
According to him, “Beyond just eating at the dinner as a family, we had discussions over the various experiences that aspirants had during the APC primaries, and the president pleaded as well as pacified the aggrieved aspirants to remain resolute and continue to be loyal and committed to Nigeria’s unity which is the most important thing beyond party politics.”
He said the president told them his experiences from the military to civilian eras, adding that “naturally it is never easy when your mandate is forcefully taken but whatever it is, we should remain as a family and the needful shall be done where necessary to ensure that those that genuinely won their primary elections are given their stolen mandate, but that cases that cannot be really proven will have to bear with the outcome; after all, you don’t just divorce yourself from your family because you don’t get what you want.”
A senatorial aspirant from Kebbi State, Sule Sami, said those at the meeting resolved to work hard for Buhari’s reelection in 2019.
“One important thing coming out of the meeting with our president is our resolve to ensure that the president wins next year; we will stay back and fight to ensure that he is returned next year because we are not going to be campaigning for any person other than our president.
“He is our major concern and we will convince the electorate to vote for him because when he returns for a second term in office, we will give him the needed support so that he can continue the good works that he has started.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, also said the meeting went well, adding that the aspirants pledged to work for the success of the party.
Enang said the meeting was one of the greatest steps taken by Buhari and the APC to bring every aggrieved person together, thus paving way for the party’s success in next year elections.