2019: Be careful, looters want to return, Buhari tells APC
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Buhari has warned All Progressives Party, APC, stakeholders, especially aggrieved members who lost out in the party’s primaries, to be wary of looters of the national treasury desperate to take over power in 2019. President Buhari gave the advice, Tuesday night, at a dinner with APC Aspirants Forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. According to him, “those who mismanaged the resources of the country are still very much around, with incredible wealth.” He told the aspirants to be vigilant and circumspect in making choices as the future would only be salvaged by those who loved the country. President Buhari urged political party aspirants who lost out in the primaries to remain faithful to the country and hold fast on integrity as there would be more opportunities to serve along the way. He said the primary motivation to contest elections should be to improve the country, and not for pecuniary reasons, adding: “We must maintain our faith in the country.” In his remarks, the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the meeting was organised to address grievances and fallout of the APC primary elections across the country. In a statement in Abuja, after meeting with the President, Secretary of the over 7,000 aggrieved aspirants, known as APC Aspirants Forum, Sheriff Banki, lamented the conduct of the primaries and urged the President to redress the injustice. He said: “Mr. President, while we salute your fight against corruption, we are here to draw your attention to the open and brazen stealing of the mandate of thousands of our members during the last All Progressives Congress primaries across the country.” “Mr. President, only those who planned to loot our treasury are comfortable with stealing the people’s mandate. We cry to you today for redress because we know that no one knows the pain of a stolen mandate more than you.” “Between 2003-2011, Mr. President, you personally suffered the agony and pains of a stolen mandate. Today, all of us in this room stand before you with pain and grief in our hearts and we ask you for justice.” Also speaking, Publicity Secretary of the forum, Balami Isaac, an aspirant for Hawul, Askira-Uba federal constituency, Borno State, commended President Buhari for setting up a high-powered delegation from his cabinet to interface with the aggrieved APC Aspirants Forum. He noted that the President’s timely intervention in the crisis had averted mass defection of aggrieved members from the APC, and advised him to be wary of political sycophants who intend to deceive him with the promise of millions of votes as it was done to the previous administration. “He said: “Mr. President, politics is local and before you are professionals across the country that are very close to the grassroots, people who aspired for governorship, Senate, Federal House of Representatives and state House of Assembly offices. ‘’Should the needful be done, over seven thousand aggrieved members of the APC have the capacity to deliver forty million votes for you come February, 2019.” Balami admonished the President to key into the existing goodwill and love by the masses by working with the APC Aspirants Forum.