In a series of tweets, the party via its official Twitter handle @APCNigeria urged Nigerians to keep believing and supporting President Buhari’s administration. They wrote:
“Please don’t lose hope yet. Great food takes time and special ingredients to cook. One thing is sure, Nigeria is now better positioned to succeed.
“We understand times are very hard… Govt is doing everything humanly possible to make things better. We’re out of recession already.
“There are lots of signs. Our appeal is that you make time to learn about various govt policies and ongoing projects. Thanks for your support.
“This government and party are not desperate for a 2nd term. Our focus is to get your support to continue delivering on our promises.
“Recession doesn’t just occur… It takes time to happen. In the same vein, its exit is felt gradually. We encourage you to continue working hard.
“Slander cannot destroy an honest man… when the flood recedes the rock is there… #TheBuhariWeKnow.”
In a related development, a former acting Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, has said President Buhari is yet to inform the South-West leaders of the party that he would be seeking re-election in 2019.
Akande spoke on Thursday, Oct.12, at the meeting of the APC South-west leaders at the executive chambers of the Oyo State governor’s office in Ibadan.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the deliberations, the former governor, who was the chairman of the meeting, stated that Buhari will have to contest with other members interested in the slot to secure the party’s nod.
In response to a question whether the party would pick Buhari as its presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Akande said the party would take a decision at the appropriate time. His words:
“He has not told us that he is contesting again. Anybody in our party is free to become the President of Nigeria. As soon as they indicate interest, we will set a process through which a candidate is elected.
“If he (Buhari) is lucky to have the ticket, we will present him as our candidate.”
He said what the South-West leaders of the party were advocating was devolution of powers from the centre to the states and local governments.
“The APC leaders from the South-West, together with our members in government at the state and the national levels, met to review what we decided at the last meeting in January 2017 and to see whether the efforts of our leaders in government have been fruitful.
“We are happy that we have had a happy meeting. Our governors and ministers are performing satisfactorily,” Akande stated.
The APC chieftain explained that restructuring was not the language of the APC, adding that it was not in its constitution or manifesto.
“Restructuring is not our language, go and ask those who are advocating restructuring to define it. What we want is devolution of functions from the centre to the states and the local governments. Restructuring is the language of other groups of people. Restructuring is not in the APC constitution or manifesto,” he said.
On the forthcoming Osun and Ekiti governorship elections, Akande said the party was ready to put an end to the reign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State.
Stressing that the meeting, however, focused on governance and not electoral matters, he said:
“We tried to review our position and we are poised to see, as a party, what we will be able to do to have Ekiti State back. We are concerned about the services of our government to the people rather than electoral matters.
“The decision of this meeting is about how to advise the government to allow the states that have land to practise agriculture and improve their education,” said Akande.
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In his opening address, Governor Ajimobi said the meeting presented a veritable ground for the leaders to reconnect with their political root.
“Our meeting today presents a veritable ground for us to reconnect with our political root and keep re-engaging ourselves as people whom nature has entrusted with the political leadership of the region at this material time.
“Similarly, it is to reconnect to the ideals that are germane to the progress of our people and, by extension, to the growth and development of Nigeria,” the governor stated.
He said after more than two years of the APC in government at the national level, it was vital to reflect on what the party had been able to give to the people. His words:
“It is only natural for us, particularly in the South-West region, to take time off to reflect on the journey so far and compare what we promised to deliver to our people in the country in general and the South-West region in particular, with what we have indeed been able to deliver.
“It is imperative for us, as we approach the third year of our tenure at the federal and state levels, to engage in some introspection to identify what could have been done differently, and if necessary, go back to the drawing board to proffer agreeable methods on the way forward with our people as the ultimate beneficiaries.”
Among those who were present at the meeting were the Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi; his counterpart from Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; Osun State Governor, Rafiu Aregbesola; and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State.
Also in attendance were the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; a former Oyo State governor, Adebayo Alao-Akala; a former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuff Lasun; and the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu.
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A National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, was said to be unavoidably absent as he had earlier made plans to be at the meeting.