President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to aggrieved All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirants not to leave the party.
The appeal comes three weeks after he asked those who failed in their bid to secure the party’s ticket to emulate Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, who lost his reelection ticket but did not ticket.
The president had a dinner with the aggrieved aspirants at the presidential villa on Tuesday night.
Those in attendance included gubernatorial, national and state assembly aspirants who failed to secure the party’s tickets in the forthcoming general election.
Buhari urged them to be patient, remain with the party and work for its success during the 2019 elections.
While briefing state house correspondents after the dinner, Aliyu Wadada, a gubernatorial aspirant of Nassarawa state, said the president assured the aspirants that justice will be done as their cases would be looked into.
“Beyond just eating at the dinner as a family, we had discussions over the various experiences that aspirants had during the APC primaries and the president pleaded and pacified the aggrieved aspirants to remain resolute and continue to continue to be loyal and committed to Nigeria’s unity which is the most important thing beyond party politics,” he said.
“The president told us his experiences from the military to civilian eras, adding that naturally it is never easy when your mandate is forcefully taken but whatever it is, we should remain as a family and the needful shall be done where necessary to ensure that those that genuinely won their primary elections are given their stolen mandate but cases that cannot be really proven will have to bear with the outcome; after all, you don’t just divorce yourself from your family because you don’t get what you want.”
Sule Sami, senatorial aspirant from Kebbi state, said those at the meeting resolved to work hard for Buhari’s reelection in 2019.
“One important thing coming out of the meeting with our president is our resolve to ensure that the president wins next year; we will stay back and fight to ensure that he is returned next year because we are not going to be campaigning for any person other than our president,” he said.
“He is our major concern and we will convince the electorate to vote for him because when he returns for a second term of office, we will give him the needed support, so that he can continue the good works that he has started.”
Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters, also said the meeting went well, adding that the aspirants pledged to work for the success of the party.
Enang said the meeting was one of the greatest steps taken by Buhari and the APC to bring every aggrieved person together, thus paving way for the party’s success at the polls next year.