The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the declaration to run for the presidency made by Senate President Bukola Saraki has ‘vindicated’ him.
The official said this on Friday in a statement by his chief press secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, after a meeting of leaders of the party in Kwara State led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed.
Mr Saraki, who recently decamped from the APC, on Thursday declared to run for the presidency under the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
The chairman had said Mr Saraki’s plan was to destroy the APC because of his inordinate ambition.
Charging APC members in Kwara State to jettison their personal ambitions and work towards ”ending the reign of Saraki in Kwara politics as 2019 approaches”, Mr Oshiomhole said reclaiming Kwara is a task that must be accomplished.
“When I was saying that all these defections are not about APC but the personal ambition of these people, they took hired writers to say I was being too hard. But Saraki’s declaration has vindicated me.
”Thank God, he has moved on because his inordinate ambition was almost destroying our party but he has failed. These are not principled politicians but bread and butter politicians who can go extra miles to pursue their selfish ambition and never think about the well-being of Nigerians.
“As things stand today, APC remains the darling of the Nigerian people. Because PDP was the vomit of yesterday, our people will not ‘chew’ it back today, not under three and half years. People have not forgotten and people will never forget. In fact, what a senior palace chief in Nigeria said: this generation of Nigerians will not forgive the PDP in a hurry. Even to say you want to forgive you must do reparation.
“The damage they did to our economy, the damage they did to our electoral process, even the culture of rigging was institutionalised by them. They introduced do or die politics. They are the ones buying weapons for young people to go into thuggery while their own children are schooling abroad. They introduced all these vices,” he said.
The chairman also directed APC leaders to ensure they conclude the election of executives from the wards to the state level this weekend.
“The last time I spoke with the minister, he told me we have accomplished 80 or 85 per cent, that for me is not good enough because we don’t have more time. So this week, we must achieve 100 per cent by whatever means. If you can’t do it, we have to help you get it done.
“The two deputy national chairmen working with the national organising secretary and the North-central vice-chairman constituted a committee to complete whatever is left. It will not exceed Sunday this week. I also want to appeal very strongly, that at this hour, we don’t want a situation where because of what is happening in Kwara, people, who ordinarily will be quite happy to be a strong pillar of support, everybody wants to be a governor, everybody wants to be a Senator or in the House of Reps.
“Our party is a party of change and we want to discourage people from putting their personal interest over and above the interest of the people of Kwara state. I am able to say under the leadership of the Minister, he has repeatedly said it that his interest is not for him to contest for the governorship of Kwara state or any elective office. I don’t think it can be more selfless than that,” he said.
He said the task of taking over Kwara had begun.
“Let them know and carry the message of change and use the broom to sweep away the past, including the thorn umbrella. The task of sweeping away the past and rebuilding a new Kwara is a task that must be done.
”That should give you the energy, the incentive and the appropriate spirit to work together so that victory will be ours, not for our own good but for the good of the great people of Kwara State who have been oppressed for such a long long time. Like they say, they can be many days for the thief, one day for the owner.”