National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said the state congresses of the party were disrupted by those who still sought to impose their will on the majority.
Tinubu stated this in an advertorial titled, ‘APC congresses: Why We Are Here’ on Saturday.
Saying the party had to hold congresses to remain true to its name and principles, the ex-governor added that there were those within the party who came to disdain the notion of congresses and democracy.
He said, “These are not evil people. But a blindness occasioned by their singular pursuit of self-interests caused them to seek to divert the party and its democratic ways. They tried to scuttle congresses and to anoint themselves that they might retain their various positions beyond the agreed term. They sought to do this without recourse to the will of party members who first voted them into their positions.’’
He noted that the situation sparked a great debate within the party, adding that the debate was greater than whether a few people should retain party offices.
“This debate would determine the fate of the party; it was for the soul of the APC itself. For a time, it seemed the undemocratic forces appeared ascendant. Yet, providence would come to our relief.
“President Muhammadu Buhari refused to take the easy road and instead chose the democratic and right one. He turned the tide from wrong to right by declaring his belief that the party should hold congresses and primaries in order to be true to its creed and democratic nature,” he said.
Stating that congresses were scheduled and the ward exercises held peacefully, Tinubu noted that there were places where wrong was done.
He said, “Wherever there were problems, it was not between two sides who believed in and honored democratic principles. The problems came from those who sought to pollute the exercise by either strong or surreptitious imposition.’’
The former governor said the party hoped that these ‘wayward officials’ would repair their behaviour in the party’s interests and for their own reputational legacies.
The statement read, “It is our desire that all party members be in good standing and remain in respectful and cordial understanding with each other as well as with the democratic mission of our party.
“We all are human. To live is to err. But to forgive and reconcile is of a higher purpose. Many things can be reconciled in this life.”
On the party governorship primary in Ekiti State, Tinubu said after the exercise was discontinued last week, action was taken to assure the people that the primary would be rescheduled and conducted free of disruption and in strict accord with party rules.
He said many people advocated a direct primary in which all party members would be allowed to vote for the candidate of their choice.
The national leader added that as the primary had been conducted peacefully with commendable efforts of the Chairman of the committee on the governorship primary, Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, the contestants should know that only one person would win and work in the party interest.
“Everyone cannot be satisfied by the outcome but we all must respect the fairness of the process. This is the manner of democracy, ’’ Tinubu stated.