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Why we are still in APC — Aggrieved aspirants

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…Don’t give up, Buhari tells angry party members

By Michael Eboh

Aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who lost in the just concluded party primaries, Wednesday, stated that their decision to remain in the party despite their ill-treatment was as a result of the personality and intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in the issue.

This was even as President Buhari appealed to aggrieved aspirants of the party not to abandon the party, while he also implored them not to give up on Nigeria.

In a statement issued in Abuja, Wednesday, after meeting with the president on Tuesday evening, Secretary of the over 7,000 aggrieved candidates, known as APC Aspirants Forum, Honorable Sheriff Banki, lamented the conduct of the primaries, while he urged the president to redress the injustice.

He said, “Mr. President, while we salute your fight against corruption, we are here to draw your attention to the open and brazen stealing of the mandate of thousands of our members during the last All Progressives Congress Primaries across the country. Mr. President, only those who planned to loot our treasury are comfortable with stealing the people’s mandate. We cry to you today for redress because we know that no one knows the pain of a stolen mandate more than you.

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“Between 2003-2011, Mr. President you personally suffered the agony and pains of a stolen mandate. Today, all of us in this room stand before you with pain and grief in our hearts and we ask you for justice.”

Also speaking, Publicity Secretary of the forum, Honourable Balami Isaac, an aspirant for Hawul, Askira-Uba federal constituency, Borno state, commended President Buhari for setting up a high-powered delegation from his cabinet to interface with the aggrieved APC Aspirants Forum.

He stressed that the president’s timely intervention in the crisis had averted mass defection of aggrieved members from the APC, while he advised Buhari to be wary of political sycophants who intend to deceive him with the promise of millions of votes as it was done to the previous administration.

“He said; “Mr. President, politics is local and before you are professionals across the country that are very close to the grassroots, people who aspired for governorship, Senate, Federal House of Representatives and state house of assembly offices. Should the needful be done, over seven thousand aggrieved members of the APC have the capacity to deliver forty million votes for you come February, 2019.”

Balami admonished the president to key into the existing goodwill and love by the masses by working with the APC Aspirants Forum.

Buhari meets aggrieved APC members of HoR.

In his response, President Buhari thanked the aggrieved APC aspirants for the faith reposed in him and encouraged them not to give up on Nigeria.

He said, “We are in a state of political development where we refuse to learn from other people’s mistakes and our own mistakes. It is not going to be easy but time is in your favour, you are much younger. So please, don’t give up. Maintain your constituencies. Keep firm of the clear objective. You must maintain your face in your country, let us not give up.”

He assured them that his administration will not give up on the fight against corruption and impunity.

He jokingly reminded them that his mandate was also stolen three times until the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) was introduced, which brought about his victory.

Assuaging the aspirants, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, who is also a member of the Presidential Appeal Committee, assured the forum that the party’s internal democracy was the utmost desire of President Buhari.

He said, “His Excellency, Mr. President, to be sincere shares your grievances, disappointments and appreciates the fact that we must work together to consolidate the achievements of the last three and half years for the good of all us and the future generation of Nigeria.”

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