The APC at its recent NEC meeting held in Abuja, on Tuesday, Oct. 31st, unanimously passed a vote of confidence on Buhari over what it described as his satisfactory performance and deferred an ‘informal’ motion to endorse an automatic second term ticket for Buhari.
Before the commencement of its NEC meeting, some APC governors spoke with newsmen at separate interview sessions at the party’s national secretariat. They include Tanko Al Makura, Simon Lalong, Rocha Okorocha and Atiku Bagudu, governors of Nasarawa, Plateau, Imo and Kebbi states respectively.
According to the governors, only Buhari had what it would take to fly the party’s flag in 2019. However, the President is yet to formally declare an interest in the 2019 presidential ticket.
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong said all the APC governors had resolved that they would work for a return ticket for Buhari, adding that the party does not have anyone that could match Buhari for the ticket at the moment.
“I want to say that if Mr. President is performing, is well respected and carrying everybody along, all of us have resolved that we will work for him. Do we have any other person that will challenge the president again? Whatever you call it, as far as we are concerned, we have one president and that is the ticket we will fly,” he said.
Lalong said the APC leaders had used the National Caucus meeting held at the State House on Monday night to resolve all the grey areas, adding that what would be seen going forward is a brand new APC devoid of wrangling.
“I want to assure you that you won’t see any wrangling after the meeting. From now onwards it will be focused governance from Mr. President and all the governors from the states. We have all resolved to support Mr. President,” Lalong added.
Similarly, the Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu said he would give the president his support based on his “sterling performance”.
“I think for APC members, it is a democratic party, but the performance of the president in the last two and a half years suggests that if he wants to contest, I will certainly support him and I know that our party members feel the same way about him,” he said.
Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha described Monday’s caucus meeting as a turning point in the life of the ruling party.
He said Buhari had shown the right leadership and had taken the right steps, adding that there was silent reconciliation presently going on, which would put APC in the right mood for the 2019 elections.
“From the caucus meeting of last night (Monday night), we can see light at the end of the dark tunnel. APC is coming out of the woods and we are set to take over the nation like we have always done. It is going to get better and better,” he said.
For the Governor of Nasarawa State Tanko Almakura, the greatest asset Buhari has is his acclaimed integrity and impeccable character which, according to the governor, have endeared him to Nigerians.
However, Al-makura said any consensus arrangement that did not follow a democratic process was not what the president needed.
“For anybody to preempt the opinion of the people, is to say the least not fair to the vision of our party. I can tell you that if there is anything that is clandestine, the president will not honour it, so let’s wait and see as we embark on these meetings.
“I believe the consensus and the preponderance of opinion of all party members will be what is good for this country,” Al-makura said.
Addressing journalists on the outcome of the NEC meeting, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, said that the party reviewed its activities in the past year and also took decisions on how to reshape its future.
He said following a motion brought by the party, the NEC meeting passed a vote of confidence on the president. He explained that the meeting also passed a vote of confidence on the national chairman of the party.
Dogara said that there was another motion raised from the floor by a member seeking for a vote for an automatic ticket for the president but it was deferred.
“Even though there was a motion from the floor that called for a vote of confidence on the president, some of us felt it was not necessary because there is nowhere that his confidence is shaken. But the motion was taken and passed.
“But there was a second leg to that motion which called for the adoption of the candidature of the president, but it was deferred and no decision was taken on it because that was not the major reason why we were here,” Dogara said.
He also said that the meeting resolved to pursue reconciliation with aggrieved members as a way forward.
One of the fall outs of the meetings of the National Caucus and NEC was the reaffirmation that the state governors are leaders of the party in the various states.
The party resolved to work towards reconciling all aggrieved persons and to reunite members in readiness for the 2019 general election.