Former Vice-President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has appealed to the aggrieved members to remain loyal to the party “as there is reward for loyalty”.
Top leaders of the party, including former Borno State governor, Modu Sheriff; Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and Chief Tom Ikimi have expressed misgiving about the outcome of weekend’s convention, and threatened to quit the party.
Atiku also said the emergence of the new Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Executive Committee, NEC, was a product of transparency, democracy and compromise.
The NEC, according to a party source, is expected to be inaugurated today at Ladi Kwali Hall of Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.
The former vice-president, in a statement by his media office in Abuja yesterday, advised the newly-elected party officials to sustain the tempo and public enthusiasm which greeted the birth of the opposition party.
He commended the peaceful conduct of the elections at the party’s inaugural national convention last Friday.
Atiku said that, as a party member, he was proud that the elections were conducted without incidents or rancour, adding that the level of maturity demonstrated by APC followers was an evidence of their commitment to decent democratic conduct.
The former vice-president said that despite the prediction of chaos and crisis before the convention, the event went peacefully without any incident. T
he Turakin Adamawa, however, reminded APC leaders and members that the challenges ahead were still tough.
According to him, complacency is a dangerous attitude, especially for an opposition party struggling to capture power and bring change.
Atiku expressed apologies for his inability to be present for the inauguration of the exco due to previous commitments overseas.
He, however, conveyed his support, loyalty and cooperation to the NEC of the party at all times.
But Governor Amaechi said yesterday that he is ready to cooperate with the new leadership of the opposition party.
The governor, in a statement by Ibim Semenitari, his Commissioner of Information and Communications, denied granting any interview castigating the conduct of the party’s convention.
“The All Progressives Congress is a party of progressives who share a common goal of safeguarding our nation and securing its future.
“Governor Amaechi is committed completely to these goals of the APC and would work assiduously alongside all party faithful to achieve this noble cause.
“The APC Convention of June 13th and 14th was a clear indication that the APC is fully reinvigorated and even more united than ever before.
“The national party officers who emerged at the convention are men and women of repute and it is delightful that the APC would be led in these times by a person of impeccable character and towering stature like His Excellency, John Odigie-Oyegun, former governor of Edo State,” the statement said.