By Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, National Publicity Secretary, All Progressives Congress (APC).
The All Progressives Congress (APC) notes the statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo which has been widely-reported in the media and titled: “The Way out: a clarion call for coalition for Nigeria movement”.
While we do not agree with everything the former president said, especially on his assessment of the government and our party, we note the sundry issues raised by the former president, and we assume these were made in good faith.
As a father of the nation, we understand that the former president would feel obliged to intervene if certain things are not being done or are not being done in a particular way. However, we believe that such interventions should be for the sole purpose of improving the system and encouraging the relevant institutions to work harder in improving certain situations.
It is for this reason that we disagree with the former president in what appears like a wholesale dismissal of the entire political system in the country. We acknowledge our challenges as a new political party, even as we believe that APC remains the best option at this time for all Nigerians who are genuinely committed to the progress and development of the country.
We also note that there are about 72 other registered political parties in the country and the people reserve the right to support any of these. Our democracy itself is young and hence all the parties face sundry challenges, but we have made progress since 1999, with President Obasanjo himself being a major contributor to our progress as a multi-party democracy. It is for this reason that we believe the respected former president should not give the impression that none of the political parties in the country is good enough for Nigerians and the only solution to the current challenges that we face is a completely new arrangement.
The task of building a political party is not done overnight. Even the oldest of our political parties is still very young in comparison with advanced democracies. Our democracy therefore stands a better chance of becoming really strong if we allow the parties to find their identities, even if in the process they make mistakes and appear to be “wobbling”. No political party arrives fully formed.
APC call on all our supporters across the country to remain strong and steadfast. These are challenging times. But we cannot afford to react to public criticism with any form of emotionalism. We are the ruling party. We must take responsibility. Take valuable lessons on board and continue to improve. Regardless of the current challenges, we are confident that brighter future is assured for our party and our country.