The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reacted to a statement credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in which he asked President  Muhammadu Buhari not to seek a second term in office in 2019. 

In the 13-page statement issued on Tuesday, Obasanjo criticised the performance of President Buhari and asked well-meaning Nigerians to join the new movement that would salvage Nigeria from its challenges.

Obasanjo noted that the present government has failed, especially in one of the areas it pitched as its ‘key point of action’ when it assumed office – the anti-corruption fight.

But the APC said while they do not totally agree with the former President’s claims; especially on his assessment of the government and the party, the sundry issues he raised were made in good faith.

The party in a statement signed by Bolaji Abdullahi, its National Publicity on Wednesday, however said the party disagrees with the former President's dismissive position on the current government.

“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.

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“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,” the statement said.

The party also disagreed with the former President “in what appears like a wholesale dismissal of the entire political system in the country.”

They admitted they have their challenges as a new political party but insisted that the APC remains the best option for all Nigerians who are genuinely committed to the progress and development of the country.

The party stressed that there are about 72 other registered political parties in the country and the people reserve the right to support any party of their choice.

“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 statement added.

The APC noted that the task of building a political party is not done overnight, saying even the oldest of political parties in the country is still very young compared to advanced democracies.

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They are, however, hopeful that Nigeria’s democracy stands a better chance of becoming really strong if the parties are allowed to find their identities, even if in the process they make mistakes and appear to be “wobbling”.

The party further called on Nigerians to remain strong and steadfast with an assurance that the nation would soon overcome its challenges.

“These are challenging times, but we cannot afford to react to public criticism with any form of emotionalism,” said APC.

“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 a brighter future is assured for our party and our country.”

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