By; SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
Worried by the controversies that trailed the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries nationwide, governors elected on the platform of the party met president Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday at the presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governors led by the Progressives Forum chairman, Rochas Okorocha said the party is seeking reconciliation of all aggrieved members as according to him, the party cannot afford to go into the general elections as a divided party.
He expressed optimism that most of the crisis will soon be resolved noting that there would be no more defections from the party .
He said “We have also looked at issues concerning our primaries. In every democracy expect some kind of disagreements and we have kindly requested that something be done to bring all warring factions together so we can have a united party to face the challenges ahead and we are happy that, that will soon take place.
“Most of the problems have been resolved except for one or two states where we have issues. Where it becomes more difficult, we asked for Mr President’s intervention in the matter.
When asked what specifically are the governors asking for, he replied “Reconciliation. What is important to us is that we must not go into this battle a divided family and we want to make sure that all governors are intact, all National Assembly members are intact while going into this battle. We will never speak differently, we will speak as united leaders of the party.
On the crisis in Zamfara State,he said “Zamfara is one of the issues we have raised also.
He also dismissed insinuations that the party is jittery over the emergence of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.
He asserted”I don’t know about talking tough. We can’t be jittery, history is there to speak, history is very important. Like I said we are not going to get involved in this verbal war with anybody, we will be talking about issues.
“If you say look you are not good, we will tell you what we can do and what we cannot do and what others cannot do. So APC is not going to engage in those kind of talkshow, but we discuss on what our party can do for the people
The Imo governor also assured that the party will run an issue-based campaign as their record in office speaks for itself.
According to him “We are here on delegation of governors to come and congratulate Mr President for having emerge as the presidential candidate of APC in the 2019 election.
“We believe it’s a victory well deserved and the honour we have given him as governors and as delegates to our national convention haven chose him as our consensus candidate reaffirms our confidence in the man President Muhammadu Buhari .
” This we want to take till February 2019 when we will be facing the general election and we have come to request from Mr President for a date for governors to come together with our followers and supporters to further inform the world of our readiness to deliver him in the 2019 election.
” This basically is the message we have come and to say that Mr President is more than ever ready for the entire exercise.
“Our election this time will not engage in castigations, we will be talking on issues, Nigerians are tired of political abuses, what we want to be talking about is issues and track records of people involved in our elections.
“Nigerians are very wise now, before they elect anybody, the will ask questions, what has been your track record, who were you before and who are you now and everything about you. For that reason we are confident that 2019, APC will pull through.
On what was the President’s response, he said the President was quite happy with the whole outing saying ” he is looking for a date to invite the governors to celebrate him and tell the world about our joy and happiness that he emerged as our presidential flag bearer which is victory assured 2019.
On his part, the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha described the move by the governors as a welcome development.
He stated”It’s a welcome development, we are one big family. In a contest there are bound to be winners and losers but in the spirit of the game of politics which is like any other sport after the game is over, whoever has emerged victorious must be magnanimous and gracious in his victory, and whoever has lost out should also accept it in the spirit of sportsmanship.
“So this is a welcome move, our governor, who is the chairman of Progressives Governors Forum has spoken and rightly all the things that have been set in motion to ensure that we quickly heal wounds and bring the family together for the greater task ahead.
He added that the administration of President Buhari has creditably performed noting that ” this morning I had the privilege of laying before the council a compendium of the policies and programmes and projects initiated and implemented by this government in two and a half years.
” A total of 1042 page document, not stories, facts of what we have been able to achieve and I think we have set the tone that this campaign will be driven by issues.
” This campaign must be predicated upon what you are able to bring to the table for the people of Nigeria. It’s not going to be a noisy campaign, anybody preparing for noise should be prepared to receive defeat in February of 2019,” he stated.
The governors at yesterday’s meeting that was also attended by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, were Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi); Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Kashim Shettima (Borno); and Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos) as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.