National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the ruling party will govern Nigeria beyond 2023.
He says this is because the ruling party has “demonstrated purposeful leadership to win the hearts of Nigerians.”
Oshiomhole said this in Abuja on Friday at the meeting of National Working Committee with governors elected on the platform of the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Governors Forum Chairman, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, led the APC governors’ delegation.
On the delegation were governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) Abdulrazaq Abdurrahman (Kwara) Idi Gubana (Deputy Governor of Yobe) who represented Governor Mai Mala Buni, and Ahmed Mohammed (Deputy Governor Niger), who represented Governor Abubakar Bello.
Oshiomhole, who expressed confidence that the party would rule Nigeria beyond 2023 based on merit, stressed the importance of cooperation between the NWC and the governors.
“We believe our party has made a lot of progress in the three key areas that were reflected in our manifesto but there is a lot to be done.
“I am sure working together at both the executive, state and federal levels by the special grace of God, we will do better in this second term.
“As to merit, our party will continue to govern the country post-2023,” he said.
Oshiomhole, who said the task of leading the party had been challenging, said the party had gained grounds and would achieve better in the second term of President Buhari.
“It is quite a challenging experience for me. I try to compare myself as a governor and now as chairman of a party. And coming in at the eve of primaries and dealing with fall out of the previous congresses.
“And then proceeding to conduct elections. Then conduct primaries and campaigns across the 36 states and the FCT. And working hard to ensure that we secure as many votes as we can for our president.
“As well as support our states, particularly where we didn’t have state governors to ensure that we are able to lend a helping hand. I am happy to say that at the end of the day even though we lost some states we also gained some states.
”We gained Kwara, which for us is extremely important. And, we also gained Gombe state which is also very strategic among others.
“Of course, we have a clear majority in the National Assembly. We have more Senators elected on our platform, we also have more House of Representatives members elected on our platform,” he said.
Oshiomhole expressed confidence that the party would win its cases in court.
“Because we believe that a lot of our cases in court have merit. We hope that there will be justice and they would be resolved in our favour,’ he said.
Responding, Bagudu said the governors appreciate the vibrant relationship among different organs of the party.
“We are happy to cooperate and participate in whatever way we can to strengthen our party.
“Mr President led Nigeria to recover from recession at the quickest time. He funded states to pay salary deficits, he paid retirees and established different social reinvestment programme. This is despite the drop in income.
”We also want to congratulate you for having been reelected. Sometimes it is easier to be elected the first time. But, to be reelected implies a huge vote of confidence by the people of your respective states.
“Looking at things from here I know a lot went into trying to seize the deliberate attempt by opposition to discredit the good ones,” Bagudu said.
He added that budget performance under President Buhari had reached 80 per cent compared with 20 per cent in 2013 under former President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, this is a great credit to visionary leadership of the president.