To provide platform for Ayade’s future political aspirations, negotiations
By Omeiza Ajayi
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on Friday put paid to speculations regarding zoning of party offices and elective positions in the country, saying the party belongs to all Nigerians and that everyone from any part of the country is free to vie for any position.
“APC belongs to all Nigerians. Everyone, from every part of the country, is free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of our party’s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The guiding philosophy as enshrined in the provisions of our manifesto is economic, social, and political development of Nigeria”, the governors declared.
This came as they pledged to yield the platform of the party to its new entrant, Gov Ben Ayade of Cross River State to actualise his future political aspirations and viable negotiations.
“Given all his achievements in Cross River State, Mr Ayade is only coming home where he belongs. APC is indeed the party that will provide him and his people, and indeed all Nigerians the viable platform for political aspirations and negotiations”, the governors said in a statement by their Chairman and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.
Bagudu said, together with Mr Ayade and all leaders in the APC, “our party’s capacity to serve the collective interests of all Nigerians through effective representation will be strengthened and reinforced”.
“Our party, APC, is open, transparent, and will continue to guarantee fair contestation in politics, in line with the overarching commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari and all our founding leaders. Our National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee has worked hard to restore the political credentials of the APC as a strong institution for Nigeria’s democratic development”, he added.
Welcoming Prof Ayade to their fold, the governors said the political and democratic credentials for President Muhammadu Buhari have continued to attract more people to the APC.
“The Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, welcome His Excellency, Mr Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State to the All Progressives Congress, APC. We join all leaders and members to welcome this illustrious Nigerian into our great party.
“The decision of Mr Ayade to join the APC is a testament of our party’s capacity to mobilise all Nigerians consistent with the vision of the founding fathers to ensure that the APC is a platform to unite all Nigerians. The coming of Mr Ayade into the APC further reinforces the process of membership and leadership recruitment at all levels”, the APC governors added.
After several weeks of permutations about his political trajectory, Prof Ayade had on Thursday dumped his erstwhile Peoples Democratic Party PDP for the ruling All Progressives Congress APC.
Chairman, APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and Yobe state Governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni and several other governors of the APC had received Ayade on Thursday in Calabar.
The governors in their statement said; “We congratulate our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, whose sterling qualities and fair-mindedness endear patriotic Nigerians to the party.
“Mr President’s credentials as a fair leader who is impartial will continue to promote our party and serve as a major source of electoral advantage. As Progressive Governors, we will remain steadfast in supporting the efforts and initiatives of Mr President to build our party, APC, as a strong and democratic political party in the country.
“Also, we salute our members of the APC National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee under the leadership of HE Mai Mala Buni for this milestone achievement of once again getting another experienced leader in the person of His Excellency Ben Ayade to join the APC.
“We welcome Mr Ben Ayade for taking the courageous decision of leaving the Peoples’ Democratic Party PDP to join our party, the All Progressives Congress. The movement of our compatriot to the APC is indicative of his principles, commitment, and conviction to the development of Nigeria.
“We will continue to support the National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee in all its current initiatives to rebuild our great party. With the coming of Mr Ayade, the capacity of our party to mobilise all patriots and other like-minded progressive Nigerians to join the APC is stronger.
“The Progressive Reinforcement of our party continues. We look forward to receiving more patriots and progressive-minded Nigerians into the APC.”