February 25 presidential election was not perfect- Adamu admits
...Gbajabiamila dismisses Chief of Staff appointment rumour
National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress ( APC) Abdullahi Adamu, on Monday, admitted that the February 25 Presidential election, in which his party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu was declared President- elect was not perfect.
Adamu who was speaking at the meeting of the National Working Committee of the Party with the President-Elect, Vice-President Elect and national assembly members- elect, at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, March 13, 2023, however, added that “Like all other democratic nations, we set out to conduct free, fair, and credible elections. This we did”.
“It is fair and honourable to admit that the February 25 elections were not perfect. We did not set out to conduct perfect elections. World history has no instances of perfect elections,” he said.
The APC National Chairman also declared that the party “chose not to rout the other political parties because they are our partners in our national progress and development”, adding that he looks forward to the governorship and state houses of assembly elections on March 18.
“I am sure the results will make our victory even sweeter,” he said.
Adamu noted that despite all the challenges, APC has continued to deepen the nation’s democracy and has given back to the people the power to institute governments of their choice.
“I am proud to say we achieved this feat and delivered on the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari to the people,” he said.
The APC Chairman noted that for the first time in living memory in respect of our elections, there were no allegations of vote-buying and outcry over all the other ills associated with the conduct of our elections, added that although “ rigging may not be dead, but it has been decapitated. Our democracy is maturing, and we are maturing with it”
He recalled that based on results of the February 25, 2023 general elections as “announced so far by the electoral umpire, INEC, the APC won the presidency, clean and clear, and a majority in both chambers of the national assembly.
“The elections at the national level are over. We are now in the critical phase of forming a government. It is a tough phase because whatever we decide from this moment will make or mar the new administration. It is not our portion, Mr President-elect,” Adamu said.
Adamu called for teamwork, adding that “ neither as president nor as legislators can any one of you go it alone”.
“Once the President and Vice-President are sworn-in and the National Assembly is inaugurated, each of you becomes the face of our government, just as each of you becomes the face of our party in governance. Whatever you do and whatever you fail to do will either impact positively or negatively on the interests of the party as a family. Let us remember this in all that we shall be doing in each of the two arms of government, to wit, the executive and the legislature,” he said.
He added that the president-elect needs help in putting together the new national team that will help him make a positive difference in the institution of good governance.
“I know his policies will be guided by the party manifesto. I urge you, as legislators, to familiarise yourselves with the party manifesto and our President’s plan of action, so that you understand your role and appreciate why certain decisions are taken by the president,” he said.
“Secondly, a democratic government is a government freely instituted by the people. A government of the people by the people is a servant of the people in the service of the people. We must never lose sight of what this entails in our form of government. Despite your wealth and your sartorial elegance, you still must be prepared to dirty your hands in serving the people.
“You must not relish your bigmanism at the expense of the interests and the hopes of the people who gave us the vote. On the day you received the people’s vote you signed a binding sacred social contract with them.
“Thirdly, the news media and especially the social media are full of speculations of some of you jostling for leadership positions in the national assembly. This is not unusual. People have the right to struggle for positions of leadership for which they believe they are eminently qualified. But we, in the national working committee of the party are not comfortable with the tone adopted by those who seek those offices. Those offices are not tribal or sectional rights and must not be so portrayed.
“We would like to offer a word of caution to all of you in this regard. It may be good to start early but sometimes when you start too early you jump the gun and court unintended consequences that may cause nasty divisions in the party and thus affect its health. Leadership positions at the national level is a delicate matter and must not be approached with levity or lack of seriousness.
“It may be good to start early but it is wiser to be patient. Some of you may recall what happened to the party and the National Assembly in 2015 when some members of the national legislature chose not to wait for the decision of the president and the party in sharing those offices. It created bad blood within the party and between the executive and the legislature. I urge us not to regress.”
He assured that the president-elect and the party leadership will make appropriate consultations in working out a formula for sharing those offices.
“I assure you that whatever sharing formula the Party and the President-elect arrives at will be fair, just, equitable and satisfy the majority of our members.
“For Mr President-elect and Vice-President elect, the task ahead of you is huge, even frightening. This is the time for you and the party to gird our loins and focus on hitting the ground running from May 29, 2023. I know you are men with a purpose. I know that you are driven by the love of the people and the country in seeking this exalted office. I salute you and give you my blessings and the blessings of the national executive committee and the national working committee of our Party.
He also urged the party members to go back and work to ensure the party wins the forthcoming Governorship and State Assembly elections scheduled for March 18, 2023.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, described the meeting as fruitful, adding that the party need to do more work ahead of the Governorship election.
He stated that the party left out zoning of offices until after the Governorship election.
“ The reason we didn’t discuss zoning is because we all agreed to tarry for a while until we finish the elections.
Speaking on speculations that he has been appointed as Chief of staff to the President- elect, the Speaker denied knowledge of such appointment.
“I don’t know anything about that Chief of Staff thing. All I heard was that I didn’t come here last week to pick up my certificate and for that reason, somebody conjectured that I must be in line for the office because I didn’t care about my mandate,” he said.
“I was in Lagos and I could not leave Lagos because I was campaigning for my party. That’s number one. Again, it’ll interest you to know that I was not here four years ago to pick up my certificate because I couldn’t make it. I don’t think it is anything significant. I’ll pick up my certificate today or tomorrow.”