President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to make sacrifices required to build a strong political party and enhance national development.
The president made the appeal on Tuesday in Abuja at an emergency virtual meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
Buhari also urged the party leaders and members to explore the kind of consultations which gave birth to the governing party.
“I want to appeal to all our party members and leaders at all levels to try and make the required sacrifices so that we are able to collectively restore our progressive and democratic political party, which can nurture and give expression to our collective dream of building a strong united and developed Nigeria.
“May I use this opportunity to remind all of us on the need to recreate our negotiation spirit of 2012 to 2013 under our legacy parties.
“We must recreate the spirit that guided us to achieve the merger that produced the APC.
“In those times, decisions reached at both formal and informal meetings were respected because they were required to produce the needed political platform that could guarantee electoral victory.
“I have, through consultations with the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and other leaders of the party, agreed that our challenges require that we take steps to rebuild the party from ward to national levels.
“The initiative to carry out membership registration revalidation is, therefore, a necessary step,” he said.
The president advised party leaders to maintain discipline at all levels so as to sustain the achievements made by the National Caretaker Committee of the party.
“I am convinced that in the last five months, since the appointment of the National Caretaker Committee, the initiatives taken have brought a remarkable new atmosphere of hope in the party.
“Healthy debates are now taking place and the potential for organs of the party to affirm majority positions as the decision of the party is now possible.
“What is required now is for all of us as leaders of the party to maintain discipline and ensure that this new momentum is protected, sustained and that decisions of the party organs are respected by every member.
“Despite the challenge to restore peace in the party and the series of elections at hand, the fact that we have gained more members and that we are not losing members to the opposition under the present interim leadership, indicates improvement for the party.
“In fact, we have begun to win back our members who left us and other notable political leaders are being attracted to our party, particularly David Umahi, the Governor of Ebonyi State,” he said.
Buhari urged the participants of the NEC meeting to dispassionately consider and adopt all the recommendations of the caretaker committee.
“The responsibility of our party’s NEC at this meeting is to adopt and dispassionately consider all the proposals submitted by the caretaker committee and grant all the necessary approvals requested to rebuild the party.
“I believe that as leaders, our shared vision is to ensure that we are able to produce leaders that will not inherit any of the problems that led to the decision to dissolve our last National Working Committee.
“There should be no debate about the fact that we all want to have a united leadership for our party, the APC, at all levels,” he said.
Earlier, Mai-Mala Buni, the National Caretaker Committee Chairman, thanked the president for his support to the interim leadership of the party.
Buni commiserated with Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno State over the Zabarmari incident where more than 43 rice farmers were massacred by terrorists.
While giving the abridged report of the caretaker committee, Buni noted that a lot of aggrieved members of the party had been reconciled.
“Before the emergence of the caretaker committee, our party was a theatre of infighting, both at national level and in many states.
“There was a need to start the process of replacing our party leadership and to achieve that, we set up reconciliation committees.
“Tempers within our party have substantially come down, although the assignments of our respective reconciliation committees have yet to be concluded.
“The NEC may, therefore, wish to review developments and direct accordingly,” Buni added.