By Omeiza Ajayi
National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has expressed optimism in the ability of the party to maintain its winning streak beyond 2023 but conceded that with the spate of litigations against the party, it was not yet Uhuru in spite of its showings in the last general elections.
He spoke Friday when governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC had a closed-door meeting with the National Working Committee NWC of the party at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja to discuss several issues afflicting the party and review some of its strategies ahead of the November 16 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum PGF and Kebbi state Governor, Atiku Bagudu led at least four other governors of the party for the meeting, including those of Kano, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Kwara, Abdulrahman Abdurazaak, and Yobe Deputy governor, Idi Barde Gubana as well as Niger deputy governor, Ahmed Mohammed Ketso.
”It is quite a challenging experience for me. I try to compare myself as a governor and now as chairman of a party. Coming in on the eve of the primaries and dealing with the 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 secured as many votes we could for our president. As, well as support our states particularly where we didn’t have state governors to ensure that we were able to lend a helping hand.
“I am happy to say that at the end of the day even though we lost some states, we also gained some states. We gained Kwara, which for us is extremely important. We also gained Gombe State which is also very strategic among others.
“Of course, we have a clear majority in the National Assembly. We have more senators elected on our platform. We also have more of House Representatives elected on our platform.
“As it stands, there are many cases in court. Until those cases are resolved, we won’t be able to say for sure where we stand. It is our prayer. Because we believed that a lot of our cases in court have merit. We hope that there will be justice and they are resolved in our favour.
”We also want to congratulate you for having being re-elected. Sometimes it is easier to be elected the first time. But, to be re-elected implies a huge vote of confidence by the people of your respective states. “Looking at things from here, I know a lot went into trying to seize the deliberate attempt by the opposition to discredit the good ones.
“Like, we have said during the retreat, we believed 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.
“I am sure working together at both the executive, state and federal levels, by the special grace of God, we will do better in this second time. As to merit, our party will continue to govern the country post-2023,” Oshiomhole said.
Chairman of the APC Governors Forum, Bagudu, confirmed that some issues were deliberated at the forum’s meeting on Thursday where it was decided that a delegation be sent to the national chairman.
Hr said; “We are very proud that we have a president who insisted that we should not sacrifice due process for convenience at a time when it was difficult for many of us to contemplate the party going through national convention and primaries almost at the same time, Mr President courageously said we have to do it because that is what we promised Nigerians.
“One of the most important signatures between our party and other parties and we are glad, so we are happy to cooperate with the NWC to whatever we can do to strengthen the party”. Oshiomhole added.