President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the All Progressive Congress (APC) lost many States in the last general elections in the country, but never complained.
The President, who formally received the Governors of Cross River and Zamfara States, Professor Ben Ayade and Ballo Mutawalle, respectively, into the APC, from their former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)_ said that it is usual for a ruling party to lose elections in the Nigerian context.
“We lost many states at the last election, which is unusual for a ruling party. But we did it to prove that we are a tolerant group. We wanted to demonstrate that we respect individuals.
“We emphasized that we respect our people. That was why we insisted on free and fair elections. Leaders should show honesty and respect for their followers.”
Buhari described the defection by the two governors to the APC as the happiest moment.
He commended them for having the courage to leave their consistencies which he said, “speak a lot. I wish Nigerians will reflect about it.
“I congratulate you for leaving your consistencies for our great party.”
President Buhari stressed that the coming of the two Governors to APC was very important to the party, adding: “to be principled and identify your objectives is a great quality that should endear us to our people. Your people will respect you more for having the courage to come to APC at your own time. Nobody forced you, but you believe it is the best way to serve your people. I value your decision.”
President Buhari handed the flags of the party to the two Governors, raised their hands aloft, and declared.
The new APC members, Governors Ben Ayade and Bello Matawalle, were accompanied to the event by the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Party and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, Gov Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State who is Chairman of Progressives Governors Forum, and Governor Muhammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State.
Governor Mai Mala Buni said that the Governors joined APC in appreciation of the good works the President was doing for the country, and also announced that ward, local government and state congresses of the party would start from July 31, 2021.
He said that the congresses were shifted for one week, because the initial dates clashed with Sallah festivities.