By Sadiq Umar, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday charged warring groups within his ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to bury the hatchet for the sake of Nigeria, just as party chieftain, Mr. Bola Tinubu pledged his loyalty to the president.
APC had been engulfed in internal crisis following disagreement among its leaders over National Assembly leadership.
Buhari , after what seems like an intractable wrangling, Tuesday night invited some of the leaders to join him at the breaking of Ramadan fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where he spoke.
He appealed to the leaders of the party to sheath their swords for the sake of the country, urging them to stomach their pains and brushes in order to move the country forward.
“We should just look at Nigeria as Nigerians, no matter the level you are, loss your influence so that we can help achieve the manifestos – security, economy, employment and corruption because if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. We have to ensure that people we bring forward are those that will move the society forward,” he warned.
He reminded them of the party’s journey to victory saying he almost give up on the possibility of winning at a point, but for the coming together of the leaders to form a formidable opposition to the then ruling party.
At the occasion which is the first public meeting between President Buhari and Tinubu since the crisis started in the party, Buhari told his guests that for the party to deliver on its campaign promises, the leaders needed to resolve their differences.
“I always like to go down memory lane to show how lucky we are as a political group.
“At no stage was the decision taken by chance it was all deliberate. The leaders of the parties felt the only way to wrestle power from the PDP was for us to come together. I in particular was scared after previous failures of the elections of 2003, 2007 and 2011.
“We dissolved our various parties to form APC then we applied to INEC, for once I was grateful to INEC. We had gone with nine people to INEC to apply and INEC advised us that we needed at least 25 people across the people to form a political party. We were able to go back raised 35 members across the country and then successfully registered the party.
“INEC then informed the federal government that we have met the requirements hence we cannot be denied registration. Many doubting Thomases said merger has never succeeded in Nigeria but here we are.
“I went into this long explanation so that you will appreciate how far we have come and for a society as ours, if we respect the constitution, then all the greed and problems will be a thing of the fast.
APC Chieftain and former governor of Lagos, Bola Tinubu, expressed appreciation to the president for the invitation for the fast breaking.
He lambasted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other critics who accused the Buhari’s administration of inaction and delay in delivering on the change he promised Nigerians.
Tinubu said the 16-years mess of the PDP cannot be automatically cleaned up in 30 days.
Both men spoke at the breaking of Ramadan fast at the new Banquet Hall at the Presidential Villa late last night.
He pledged total support to the government of the day, assuring President Buhari of success in office.
“We believe this diversity will continue to propel us for economic growth under your leadership.
“This is the first Ramadan after the election. We thank God for cutting down the opponents 60 years of fake promises to 16 years.
“I heard they say we are slow. Yes, we didn’t campaign to be fire fighters, but planners and meticulous one at that. A latrine pit of 16 years can’t be cleaned up in 30 days because the mess is much.
“Mr. President you started well, you hit the ground running. You promised Nigerians that you’ll address security and your first meeting to ECOWAS was on security because we cannot fight alone.
“You have been to others places. If they think is a game of ludo, we will say is serious business. If they forgot G7 we will remind them.
“We have faith in you Mr. President. We have faith in your capacity and uprightness. I’m here filled up and not fed up.
“We promise to continue to be with you and support. No matter what they are saying we are not re-running the election until four years time.
“We pray to God to give us four more years of this month and pray to Him to forgive our misdeeds, and for peace and stability, with this Nigeria is a promise to the future.
“Mr. President, your hands are on the plough and you will succeed”, he added.
The ceremony attracted the presence of APC national publicity secretary, Mr. Lai Mohammadu, Mr Audu Ogbe, former Governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, amongst others.