By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos – The All Progressives Congress (APC), South Africa Chapter, has congratulated Nigerians and President Muhammadu Buhari on the President’s victory at the Feb. 23, Presidential election.
The chapter, in a statement jointly signed by Mr Bola Babarinde and Prof. Folorunso Fasina, Chairman and Secretary, respectively, on Saturday said that the victory showed President Buhari was loved by the masses.
“On behalf of the APC South Africa, as part of the All Progressives Congress home and abroad wish to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari on his well-deserved victory at the poll.
“The resounding victory is an acknowledgement that he is a man loved by the people.
“We also wish to acknowledge the victory of all contestants for Senatorial and House of Representatives seats both from the APC, PDP, YPP and all other parties that will be represented in the 9th Assembly.
” It is heartwarming to know that people were given voices and choices in elections where freewill is allowed to thrive. This is an election not written behind the curtain,” the APC chapter said.
It expressed dissatisfaction about the disenfranchisement and pockets of violence and deaths in some parts of the country during the elections, hoping that future elections would be better.
The party commended INEC for rising above its enormous challenges as well as the contributions of the security agencies, saying “Nigerians are the winners.”
“We can demonstrate that we are not people given to violence in the gubernatorial and other elections coming up on March 9, 2019.
“Our hearts go out to the families that lost loved ones and are affected by the skirmishes and violence that attended the Feb. 23, 2019 elections,” the party said.
According to the party, some real progress were made in the last four years and the reward of good work can only be more work.
It said that governance was beyond partisanship and should be all inclusive, urging the ruling party to explore the reasons why many people voted against the party before 2023 elections.
“All political actors will now need to drop the garb of their individual parties and join hands, work together to move the nation forward. The President will need to provide leadership in this regard.
“The reasons for this level of “outside votes” should be explored and addressed by our great party, the All Progressives Congress, to avoid enormous disaster in 2023, as it befell PDP in 2015.
“Many Nigerians believe that the government has not kept faith with the promises made to Nigerians.
“We are aware of the challenges on ground but efforts must still be intensified and the government can do better by connecting and communicating more with the public.
“The areas where the party scored significant mileage should be strengthened and the weak areas should be addressed as we go along the journey,” the party advised.
According to the party, it is heartwarming that APC has now made inroads to places where it was detested earlier, particularly in the South-South and the South-East.
It said that the efforts that had been put on infrastructure development, health, agriculture, empowerment of small business owners should continue unabated.
The party, therefore, urged the President to keep close eyes on governors’ activities and performance, stressing that the impunity at the state level should stop.
It encouraged the President to continue to push for the complete financial and administrative autonomy of the third arm of government, the Local government Authorities (LGAs).
According to the party, local government’s effectiveness will directly impact on the lives of the citizenry as the closest arm to the people and this will be a major key to success of any serious administration.
The party said that the diaspora campaigned and delivered by their “operation call home” strategy which was employed in 2015 and yielded better results in 2019 to mobilise votes for Buhari.
“Each member was given a target of at least 10 persons to convince. While we cannot quantify the immediate impact of this strategy, we believe that it contribute enormously to the overall electoral success of APC.
“With this achievement, we implore our dear President to again look into the issue of Diaspora voting and institutionalize it before the end of this administration.
“It is embarrassing when citizens of other countries ask, and so did you vote?” and “how was the election?”, there is no answer to give. It is degrading to Nigeria at this level and period of human development.
“Nigerians in Diaspora must not be disenfranchised for the fact that they reside outside the shores of Nigeria. The Embassies are our mini-Nigeria outside the shores and can be used to prosecute this agenda,” the party said.
It urged the government to avoid bitterness and witch-hunt but called on serious minded opposition members to partner with the government in order to deliver service to the people. (NAN)