The National Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has expressed confidence that the party will rule Nigeria beyond 2023 based on merit.
He said the party under President Muhammadu Buhari had demonstrated purposeful leadership to win the hearts of Nigerians.
Oshiomhole made the assertion on Friday at the meeting of the National Working Committee with the governors elected on the platform of the party.
The Progressives Governors’ Forum Chairman and governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, led the APC governors’ delegation.
On the delegation were Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abdulrazaq Abdurrahman (Kwara), Idi Gubana (Deputy Governor of Yobe) who represented Governor Mai Mala Buni, and Ahmed Mohammed (Deputy Governor Niger), who represented Governor Abubakar Bello.
The meeting later retired to a closed-door session with Oshiomhole and Deputy National Chairman (South), Otunba Niyi Adebayo, who was on Wednesday sworn in as Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Other members of the NWC were excused from the meeting.
They, however, emerged from the meeting after about two and a half hours wearing long faces with the governors and Oshiomhole refusing to talk with the press.
At the opening, Oshiomhole had stressed the importance of synergy between the NWC and the governors.
He said, “We believe our party has made a lot of progress in the three key areas that were reflected in our manifesto but there is a lot to be done.
“And I am sure working together at both the executive, state and federal by the special grace of God, we will do better in this second term. As to merit, our party will continue to govern the country post 2023.”
While admitting that the task of leading the party had been challenging, Oshiomhole said the party had gained grounds and would achieve better in the second term of President Buhari.
He said, “It is quite a challenging experience for me. I try to compare myself as a governor and now as chairman of a party. And coming in at the eve of primaries and dealing with fallout of the previous congresses. And then, proceeding to conduct elections; then conduct primaries and campaigns across the 36 states and the FCT. And working hard to ensure that we secure as many votes we can for our president.
“We gained Kwara, which for us is extremely important. And, we also gained Gombe State which is also very strategic among others.”
Oshiomhole expressed confidence that the party would win its cases in court.
Responding, Bagudu said the governors would appreciate vibrant relationship among different organs of the party.
He said, “We are happy to cooperate and participate in whatever way we can to strengthen our party.
“The President led Nigeria to recover from recession at the quickest time. He funded states to pay salary deficits, he paid retirees and established different social reinvestment programme. This is despite the drop in income.”
Meanwhile, The former National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has predicted that the ruling party will have issues in 2023 general election after President Muhammadu Buhari must have left office.
He, however, noted that the party had time to get its act together between now and 2023.
The Cable reported on Friday that Oyegun spoke in an interview with ARISE NEWS.
He said, “When the APC was formed, all the predictions were that it will implode in another year or two, but the APC did not implode,” he said.
“The APC will have issues in 2023 and it has to start now; it has time to put its acts together for 2023. In 2023, there will be no President Buhari (in office).”
He said even though he would not want to make excuses, the promises made by the party in 2015 did not have dates attached to them.
“The reality is that even for us, we did not meet our own expectations; we fell a bit short but we recognise why,” he added.