The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has warned his party against complacency, saying the 2019 general elections would be tough as Nigerians.
He, however, noted that the APC “is a living party,” adding that its leadership remained committed and dedicated “to make sure that this party is out in political fighting mood for the 2019 elections.”
The former governor of Edo State spoke during the inauguration of the APC 2018 National Convention Committee, which is headed by the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Baduru, in Abuja on Monday.
He urged the members of the committee to ensure that the outcome of the convention reunites APC members.
Odigie-Oyegun said, “I am passing the buck over to you today. At the end of this exercise, I want to see a re-united APC under whatever leadership your exercise brings up.
“We have a tough election ahead of us and we must prime ourselves for that election. We must not cuddle ourselves with any false sense of being the party in power.
“Our population today is much more aware of their rights than they have ever been before. So, as you proceed, please ensure that all these views and opinions are brought together into a one united APC.
“The task that you have undertaken to perform is a heavy and tough one. The APC is known, in spite of induced controversies, for the cleanest primaries and congresses.
“Our last presidential primary was by all account one of the best ever held and I dare say, anywhere.
“It was a convention that was watched worldwide and you are supposed to repeat the feat. I have no doubt that this one, given the controversies that have preceded it will also be a most watched convention.
“So, you have the task of producing a convention that is free, fair and provide a level playing field for anybody who wants to aspire to any position.”
On how prepared the APC was ahead of the 2019 general elections, Odigie-Oyegun said, “The signs are clear that this is a living party, the signs are clear that this is a vibrant party. The signs are clear that this is a party whose leadership is committed and dedicated, in spite of current event, to make sure that this party is out in a political fighting mood for the 2019 elections.”
The convention chairman assured the party leadership that his committee would give the contestants a level playing ground.
Badaru, who said President Muhammadu Buhari had no business running the government except for the care of the people, added that the APC’s mission was to rescue the country.
He said, “God is with us and He will continue to support us because of our clear vision, our good heart and our love for the people of Nigeria. We all know that our leader has no business in running this government except for the care of our people.
“Most of us you see in the APC are in the party today to serve our people. Our mission in the APC is to rescue the country from near collapse we saw around 2014 and 2015.”
The committee confirmed that the convention would hold in Abuja.