Create level playing ground, Ogbonnia tells Buhari
A presidential aspirant in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, has frowned at what he called the partisan attitude of senior members of the party in supporting the candidature of President Muhammadu Buhari to the detriment of others who wish to fly the party’s flag.
In a statement yesterday, Ogbonnia called on Buhari to play the democrat by allowing equal opportunities for everybody that wish to contest the presidential election on the platform of the ruling party.
He particularly expressed concern at the attitude of some party and government officials who he said were using their offices to push the president’s aspiration to the disadvantage of other aspirants.
According to him, the appointment of a serving minister, Rotimi Amaechi, as the president’s campaign manager and last Tuesday’s solidarity visit to the president of the Buhari Support Organisation, BSO under the patronage of Customs boss, Col Hammed Ali, rtd. are not good signs in a party that wants a level playing field for everybody.
In the statement, Ogbonnia who is one of the three contenders for the presidential ticket of the APC, also commended his supporters for their orderly conduct during the recent congresses of the party.
He also commended Buhari for his promise not to interfere with the running of the party saying, “I must not conclude without commending President Muhammadu Buhari for the continuing pledge not to meddle with the affairs of the party. Yet, his actions ought to speak louder than the words.
“I am concerned that, by design or default, Mr. President has continued to allow some of his government appointees and party leaders to double as his campaign officials, especially at a time where the president has primary opponents.
To achieve true internal party democracy, which our great party professes; party leaders, government officials and public agencies should, at base, appear neutral, even if they are at the mercy of government in power. A progressive party seeking ‘equity must come with clean hands.’
“I am very impressed with the calibre of delegates produced at the congresses. I enjoin them to ensure that true internal party democracy is instilled at the processes leading to the 2019 general elections.
“I also charge all camps to close ranks towards the greater good of the party and the nation. This is not time for rancour.
For help is on the way. With your support, I will win the APC presidential ticket and work with the incoming party leadership to reposition our party to its founding ideals.
Needless to mention that, as a president, my administration will unleash the abundant potential of Nigeria to greatness. “Every party man or woman who truly wants to serve our great country will have a role to play. So there will be enough to go around.
“At the same time, I urge the current leadership of the party to, without any delay, look into congresses marred by irregularities and, where necessary, cancel and re-conduct such elections.
As a progressive party, we must lead by example; we should learn from the mistakes of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where delegates and candidates were imposed on the people, which occasioned its woeful outing in 2015 elections.”
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