President Muhammadu Buhari’s warning to the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders ahead of the 2023 polls to resolve their political wrangling or perish is a wake up and it is in the best interest of the party, Plateau Gov. Simon Lalong has said.
“We are meeting and we are very hopeful that we are going to keep to the admonition given by the President; it’s a warning signal to all of us to sit up and ensure that we have a seamless, very clean, fair and transparent convention so that our party will not get disintegrated,” he said.
Persecondnews recalls that Buhari had during a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) recorded interview on Thursday warned against lingering crisis, disunity and lack of agreement in the party which result in loss of power to the opposition in 2023.
The president also said foisting of party leadership on members by any “kingmaker” at the convention would not be allowed.
Lalong told State House correspondents after meeting with President at the Villa in Abuja that APC as a political party is made up of different interests, raising the hope of reconciliation before the February convention.
“So all the fears that we are talking about which the President also re-echoed is also telling the governors to please do more, and keep the party alive.
“So by God’s grace, we are going to keep our party alive,” he assured.
On the February date for the party’s convention, Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, said the party leaders will meet on Sunday to decide on a definite date for the national convention.
According to him, the governors have assured the president that the convention will still hold in February.
On steps being taken by leaders of the party to avert the loss of power as forewarned by Buhari, Lalong said: “Thank you for that question. Yes, I agree that all the times there are meetings, especially taking final decisions on the party.
“I’m always part of it and part of it was also why I visited the President and the President still stands committed that there must be an immediate convention.
“You know, when convention is coming there are fears here and there, some people will tell you it will work, it will not work. I don’t want to jump to conclusion, but the visit to the President has already assured us and you know that there is already a notice that all the governors are meeting on Sunday. By Sunday we will tell you when we’re doing the convention.
“We have taken a date already. I think our first date before Christmas we said we are going to do convention in February and we are still working for convention, as far as I’m concerned, except things change from another angle. But as far as I’m concerned, we’re working for our convention in February.
“These are things that the President was raising his fears, but we have already given him assurances that nothing will stop us from having a very peaceful election.
“Some parties have done their own the PDP did their own, nothing will stop APC from doing their own.
“People will come with different interests and so when you are preparing like this, you have different interests and those different interests will be aired in different ways.
“But I just want to assure you that in so many ways, when we meet we will harmonize all interests and we’ll come out as one APC and that is what we are hoping that whatever will be the interests that we are going to discuss.
“I have a very great hope that at the end of the day, our goal is to elect people who will take care of our party because that will be the beginning of the process towards electing those who will take over from this present government.”
On the court cases, the governor said: “There are procedures to holding court processes. Many of the court processes were there when we set up the caretaker committee.
“But up to this moment, if you go to take a census of some of the court proceedings, you will realize that a lot of them have been resolved out of court. So, it is still the duty of the party, it is still part of the functions of the party to resolve.
“But we must not wait to resolve all court presses before you go for convention. I don’t think so because there are also machineries for resolving court process, even after convention.
” I had a court process in my state, that did not stop me from going on and at the end of the day, we resolved the court process and we’re still going on, preparing and waiting for convention.”