John Odigie-Oyegun, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has cautioned that Nigerians can vote against the ruling party in 2019.
His words: “We created a machine that has started a significant move in entrenching democracy in this country. What is democracy? It is the ability to hire and fire. It was the first time that Nigerians had the ability of firing and it has become internalised in our political psyche. We know that we should not make the mistakes of the PDP. We too now know that we can be fired and that is democracy.”
Oyegun made this comment on Tuesday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, where he was presented with the book ‘APC: The Making of a Change Agent’, written by Okoi Obono-Obla, special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution.
He cautioned his party not to act like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when it was in power.
The APC National Chairman also hailed the contributions and sacrifices of chairmen of the legacy parties that merged to form the APC; former vice president, Atiku Abubakar; former governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu; new PDP entrants amongst other stakeholders in the formation of the APC.
He added; “It is important because in a few years, peripheral people like happens today in the case of June 12, sort of claim ownership of an event they know very little about… Infact, we encourage all those who participated intimately to document their record of what they think happened. Historians will then later take these slightly different versions considering the perspectives were you were standing to watch the show. And we will eventually have a comprehensive rendition of what happened.
“It was the first time a merger of that type had succeeded. It is the first time people had the intense nationalism to make the degree of sacrifice that was called for in agreeing to a merger. We had three party chairmen, and a lot of other individuals- former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and a few others who participated actively. And we must not forget the role that was played by the new PDP.”
Also Speaking, Obono-Obla said, “The book tells the story of the APC; How the APC was founded; the intense negotiations; support of the governor; and how the APC dethroned an incumbent government, unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.
“It was necessary for a member of the merger committee to tell the story so that there is no distortion and misrepresentation of facts. This generation and generations to come will read this story and also see how the PDP failed so that the APC will not make the same mistake.
“Because if we make that mistake, the Nigerian people will punish us as they punished the PDP. We should run a democratic party. I am happy that the APC National Chairman is doing his best and despite all the turbulence, the Party is still one.”
Present at the book presentation were the APC National Auditor, George Moghalu; National Organising Secretary, Osita Izunaso and National Vice Chairman (South East), Emma Eneukwu.