The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the successful conclusion of its inaugural national convention in Abuja on Friday has strengthened its resolve to continue with efforts to move the country forward, adding that it will not back down until it has rescued Nigeria from a “rapacious cabal”.
Also the party leaders at the weekend commenced moves to formally dissolve the interim national leadership and to inaugurate the newly elected National Executive Committee (NEC).
THISDAY gathered that party leaders were engaged in consultations with stakeholders to see how the new officials could be sworn in latest this week, including reaching out to aggrieved members who lost out during the convention.
While acknowledging congratulatory messages and words of encouragement from Nigerians, the party assured everyone that in the days ahead, it would be providing more details of its road map that would lead to the creation of a new and prosperous Nigeria for the benefit of all her people.
The party also said it would soon hit the road with the achievements of all the governors in the 16 states controlled by the APC.
In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said that it was encouraged and gratified by the goodwill messages from a cross section of Nigerians, many of them from outside our party, especially on the openness and transparency of our convention.
“This massive support from Nigerians has strengthened our resolve to continue with our efforts to move our country forward. Now, we are back to work and we will not look back until Nigeria has been rescued from the grip of a rapacious cabal intent on stifling the country's progress,” it said.
APC also thanked all its members and supporters for their demonstrated commitment to the sustenance of democracy and the upliftment of Nigeria, saying even when a rainstorm started midway into the convention, the delegates were undaunted as they defied the weather to protect the ballot boxes and cast their votes.
“When the entire public address system succumbed to the rains, our members moved from one state delegation to another to mobilise them to vote. When the rain started, they were more interested in protecting the ballot boxes than shielding themselves from the rain.
“It is also noteworthy that no cases of violence and pick pocketing were recorded despite the massive turnout at the Eagle Square for the convention. Not even the threatening text messages sent to the phones of many delegates at the convention over a purported impending bomb attack could shake their resolve. There can be no better testament to commitment to a cause, the cause of rescuing Nigeria, than this,” the party said.
APC assured Nigerians that in the days ahead, it would be providing more details of its road map that would lead it to the creation of a new and prosperous Nigeria.
It said some aspects of the party’s agenda to change the face of the country included job creation; war against corruption; free, relevant quality education; restoration of agriculture; housing and improved healthcare; and social welfare plan for the less privileged.
According to the party, other measures include paying greater attention to roads, power and infrastructure; better management of natural resources; strengthening peace and security; and foreign policy.
“But based on the nationwide scientific poll we conducted across the 36 states and the federal capital, we have identified three sectors that would command special attention. They are job creation, war against corruption as well as security. These sectors will get immediate and special attention from an APC-led federal government, starting on May 29 2015, by the votes of Nigerians and the Grace of God,” the party said.
It said the achievements of all the governors in the 16 states controlled by the APC would also be showcased to Nigerians, as part of efforts to make them realise that with the emergence of the APC, it would no longer be business as usual.
The party also urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government to do everything humanly possible to secure the release of the over 200 schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram on April 14 2014.
“It is now over two months since these girls were separated from their families and no one knows under what conditions they are being held. As long as these girls are missing, something is missing in all of us. We therefore repeat our appeal to the federal government to leave no stone unturned in its efforts to bring back the girls safely.
“We hereby reiterate our support and cooperation for all the efforts that could reunite these girls with their families. We insist that only a non-partisan and concerted effort by all and sundry will help to galvanise a national front against Boko Haram, which is daily killing and maiming our people and stunting the country's growth,” it said.
In a message to APC, Senate President, David Mark, yesterday congratulated the new leadership of the main opposition party led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and urged it to put the interest of the nation above personal or party interests.
He expressed hope that the new leadership would transform APC into a credible, strong and viable opposition party that would propel the government to deliver the dividends of democracy to the citizenry.
Mark, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the nation was in dire need of a collective effort by all, irrespective of political affiliation, insisting they must put aside their political differences in order to take Nigeria to the next level.
“Whichever political divide we may belong, what must of a necessity be paramount is the survival of our country under a democratic dispensation. I know Chief Oyegun as a patriotic Nigerian who would strive to make our society a better place.
“I can only remind him not to deviate from this path of honour. Whatever makes for the good of the country and her people should without compromise be his watchword. The era of intra or inter-party wrangling should be discarded for good,” he stated.
Mark also urged Nigerians to pray for the victory of the Supper Eagles in their opening match against Iran today at the ongoing World Cup tournament in Brazil.