The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with aggrieved Senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who are contemplating dumping the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The President met with the lawmakers at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, assuring them that the APC leadership will ensure justice and fairness.
He urged them to exercise restraint and patience while the healing process takes place ahead of the 2023 general elections.
As earlier reported by Naija News, the Chief Whip of the 9th senate, Orji Uzor Kalu who led the aggrieved lawmakers said the senators felt disenfranchised by the process of the party’s primaries which resulted in their failure to clinch the return ticket of the party.
President Buhari however assured them that the APC will sustain the hearing and healing process, adding that the complaints were received and machinery had been put in place by the National Working Committee to address their various concerns.
He stressed the need for the party to present a united front going into the 2023 general elections.
Below is the full speech by the President during his discussion with the aggrieved senators as made available in a statement by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina.
“In keeping with our ethos, therefore, I shall continue to address the ensuing challenges and grievances through the party machinery while paying keen attention to the outcomes.
“I must also remind you of the primacy of justice in all our actions. If justice is denied, the outcome is usually unpleasant.
“This is because you are the members who keep the party running. I should add that as part of the policy of using the party machinery for effective resolution of conflict, the Chairman and some members of the National Working Committee visited the National Assembly recently to dialogue with our legislators.
“The leadership of the party is currently addressing the outcomes as part of the way forward. I am encouraging all the party functionaries to adhere to the truth and to be fair to all parties in any dispute.
“As the leader of the party, one of my primary roles is to ensure that our culture of internal democracy and dispute resolution is strengthened by creating the opportunity for members to ventilate their opinions, views and grievances at different levels.
“Notwithstanding the fact that we have accomplished 23 years of uninterrupted democratic governance, our journey is still in a nascent stage and we continue to learn from our challenges and mistakes. Similarly, our party is still evolving in its culture and practices and it is my expectation and hope that we shall attain a mature level in our internal conduct.’’
“I have noted your grievances particularly as it concerns the just concluded processes, the cost to the nation, the threat to the majority position held by our party in the legislative chambers and likely consequent cost to the electoral fortunes of our party as we approach the general elections. We must not allow these dire threats to come to pass.
“I must acknowledge that in every contest, there must be a level playing ground just as there would be grievances at the end. That is the test of our democratic credentials, systems and practices. I have since the conclusion of the processes been inundated with various reports and complaints.”
The President assured that “justice shall prevail, aggrieved members shall be assuaged and the interest of the party and the nation shall be protected.’’
President Buhari thanked the senators for suggesting a meeting on the issues, which include the future of the party and pursuing solutions to the challenges thrown up by the recent election-related activities, particularly, the primaries.