President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the All Progressives Congress members in the National Assembly to accept the supremacy of the party in order to allow democracy work in the country.
He made the appeal in his opening remarks at the National Executive Committee meeting of the party held at its national secretariat in Abuja.
Following the emergence of Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively on June 9, the governing party has been polarized.
The crisis in the party took a turn for the worse when the Senate out rightly rejected the party’s choices for the remaining principal offices, by adopting the nominees of the zonal caucuses of the party in the senate for the positions of majority leader, deputy majority leader and deputy chief whip.
The House, which is also sharply divided into two factions, was even more heated as members engaged in a free for all on the day its principal officers were to be nominated. The process was suspended.
However, speaking on Friday at the first NEC meeting of the APC after the 2015 general elections, Mr. Buhari advised all the warring parties to pocket their personal interests and put that of the APC first, so that it would work.
“God in his infinite mercy has helped by giving us acceptance. Let us not throw this success to the wind. Let us as members of the APC no matter our personal differences get together and use the mandate given to us by this country. This is my personal appeal to you in the name of God. Whatever your personal interest or ambition, please keep it close to your heart and in your pocket. Let APC work, let the system work and let us have a government that will earn the respect of our constituencies.
“My problem is the constituencies. I thank you very much for listening to me, and I thank the leadership across the board, and I appeal to you to please continue to work together. Please accept the superiority of the party. I cannot confine myself to the cage or Sambisa Forest and refuse to participate in NEC or BoT. So, I respect the superiority of the party”, he further advised the party members and leaders.
Mr. Buhari, who also spoke on the challenges the APC went through before it achieved its current success, said the party must find a way to manage its victory.
He said, “The elections have come and gone, the APC has won the battle, but lost the war. This is the paradox of democracy, and we shall see how we can manage it going forward. The APC must not disappoint its constituency that is the nation state. We have to convince our various constituencies that we are individually worthy of the sacrifices that they have made.
“They stayed awake day and night, travelling all over the country and made sure as a party, we emerged victorious. What subsequently happened is human. As human beings, we are not perfect. But let our collective actions in this party prove that we have won the elections, the battle and we will win the war”.
He added, “As for me as a president, I have to clearly understand the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the constitution of APC, and having tried three times and successfully lost three times and successfully ended up at the Supreme Court. I think I have tasted the bitter disappointments and the sweetness of success. What happened to the APC must be given to God almighty”.
In apparent reference to the crisis rocking the National Assembly, President Buhari said that all members should accept what has happened, forget their grievances and forge ahead.