Places membership at 15.2m
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The ruling All Progressives Congress APC has expressed deep confidence in its ability to make a clean sweep of the 2019 general elections and retain the presidency, boasting of its growing membership which it now puts at 15.2 million.
Deputy National Chairman (North) of the party, Sen. Lawal Shuaibu predicated his confidence on the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“I make bold to say that there is no other option before Nigerians other than the APC. We inflicted a very big injury on the former ruling party in 2015. During the campaigns, we realised our own method benefitted us because our manner of campaign was devoid of any hate speech. Theirs was full of hate speech and Nigerians clearly saw the difference.
“The APC currently has 15.2 million members. The eyes of Nigerians are open. They know who is sincere about things. Nigerians know which party to choose when elections come in 2019. So I can assure you we are very confident in 2019 for a re-election” Sen. Shuaibu said.
He made the disclosures when he received the Deputy Director of the Research Office, International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), Dong Weihua at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja. Weihua led a Chinese delegation on a working visit to the APC.
Shuaibu who was responding to questions by the leader of the Chinese delegation on the APC’s re-election chances in 2019 said during the 2015 election campaign, the APC ran an issue-based campaign and focussed on three core areas, namely; the fight against corruption, stabilizing the economy and restoration of peace and security in the country.
He said despite the rot met on ground when the APC took over government in 2015, the current administration has quickly addressed itself to clearing the rot and delivering on election promises made to Nigerians during the campaigns.
“After we took over as a government, we brought out to the open for Nigerians to see the amount of damage done to the Nigerian economy, to every fabric of the Nigerian society. Impunity became a culture. Corruption was an accepted norm. That was how we found this country. We promised Nigerians that we will fix the economy, ensure security of lives and property and fight corruption no matter who is involved”, he said.
Citing ongoing projects particularly in the transport and power sectors, He told the Chinese delegation that the current administration is implementing projects to make the country business-friendly and improve the economy.
“Our entire infrastructure as at when we started this democratic dispensation in 1999 had decayed so much that they did not require fixing by way of repair, they were so decayed that they required replacement… For businesses also, the infrastructure necessary for businesses was also absent because there was no electricity. Our transportation system was so bad that we had to extend our hands to advanced countries to help us fix our infrastructure. Nigerians today I assure you are happy that things have started moving in the right direction.
He also said the current administration has rebuilt the country’s image in the international arena and entrenched the culture of democracy in the country.
“The current administration is giving people their right to vote and ensuring that their votes also count. We have also ensured the right of people to say their views, even though people in some cases have abused freedom of speech, such as hate speech, people making statements that undermine the authority of the state, sovereignty of Nigeria and unity of the country. We assure you that these challenges are not insurmountable, we will overcome them because government will within the limits established by law be able to bring everything under control and ensure that Nigeria as a country continue as one”, he said.
Speaking at the meeting, the Deputy Director of the Research Office, IDCPC, Dong Weihua who spoke through an interpreter said the Communist Party of China puts great emphasis on international exchanges with foreign political parties.
“We emphasize on political parties because we believe that parties are the source of decision making, they represent people’s will and also leads public opinion, therefore we will like to communicate and share with foreign political parties. Both APC and CPC are the ruling parties of their respective countries, I believe that we should have more opportunities to communicate and meet up, because i believe this will help promote not only the bi-lateral relationship of our two countries but also China-Africa cooperation as a whole.”
She disclosed that on October 18 the Communist Party of China will convene its 19th congress.
“This is an important political event in china. In that congress, the party will reflect on the achievements it has made in the last five years. It will also set out strategies and policies for the next five years regarding social, economic affairs as well as party building.” She said.
Responding, the APC Deputy National Chairman (North) said the Party was ready to collaborate with the Communist Party of China.
“I feel very happy that the Communist Party of China is consulting with the APC. And I feel some level of collaboration could be created between our two political parties, being the ruling parties in our respective countries. There are so many areas through which we can enrich parties and our people through the exchanges as you rightly put it”.
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