The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sunday apologised to the former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, for failure to visit him when they came to woo Governor Aliyu Wamakko, to join the party.
The APC interim Chairman, Bisi Akande, former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu and former military Head of State, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and other party chieftains visited the state for the inauguration of the state university on October 29, and later came back on November 6 to woo Wamakko without consulting with the party stakeholders in the state.
Addressing the party supporters at the residence of the former governor in Sokoto yesterday, a seven-man delegation led by former Edo State Governor, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said they were sent by the national leadership to apologise to Bafarawa for not consulting him during their last visit to the state.
"We have been sent by the national leadership of APC to reach out to you to make peace and offer regrets for the mistake of our national leaders. And to tell you that what happened last month was a mistake of the head and not of the heart and that they truly regretted what happened in Sokoto.
"You are one of our leaders, the bedrock of the party in this zone and we have tremendous respect for Sokoto APC. You are the one we will depend on to carry out the battle because we know that we have a great battle ahead of us," he said.
He pointed out that the APC national leadership believed that in order to win the battle ahead, there was the need for the party to open its doors to everybody, hence the move to woo Wamakko and others across the country.
"As you are aware, in politics, you don't shut your door against people who want to join your party. Please, be the soldiers that you have been and open your hands to prospective members. We must make sacrifices because the ultimate goal is the salvation of this country.
"We are trying to weaken the enemy and need them to fight the battle ahead but I want to assure the party stakeholders in the state that the APC national leadership will always be there to protect the interest of their original members," Oyegun averred.
In his remark, Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, noted that the APC national leadership erred by not informing the party stakeholders in the state of their coming to Sokoto last month and pleaded with Bafarawa to forgive the errors of the past.
Responding, Bafarawa, maintained that he brought Wamakko into politics and as such would not prevent him from joining the APC but stressed the need for the governor to apologise to all those he had wronged in the past.
"I brought Wamakko into politics and all those agitating to join the APC in Sokoto are all my students because they were once under me.
"So, Wamakko is welcome to join our party and our doors are open but we don't want to invite mosquito to come and start biting us and at the end of the day we will end up with malaria," Bafarawa said.
He, however, advised Wamakko to come back home and solve his problem by seeking forgiveness from all those he had wronged in the past, saying this was the only way to avoid squabbles in the party.
The former governor said he had forgiven the national leadership of the APC and pleaded with them not to interfere in the local politics of Sokoto.
"We have forgiven the national leadership of the APC but we are pleading with them not to interfere in our local issue, they should allow us to solve our problems. No amount of meetings or interference from the national leadership will solve our problem unless Wamakko comes home and apologise for all what he did to us.
"So, Wamakko should come back home and reconcile with his people and we are ready to forgive, forget and move forward in order to salvage our country from total collapse," Bafarawa added.
He averred that the APC leadership in the state would not allow anybody no matter his position to be smuggled into the party through the back door, saying APC was a grassroots party which each member has to register in his ward.