Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the platform of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) have declared that “everyone, from every part of the country is free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of our party’s constitution” ahead of the 2023 general election.
The forum, however, expressed excitement over Thursday’s defection of governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers state from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.
In a statement released Friday in Abuja by the chairman of the forum and the Kebbi state governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, called on other Nigerians to defect to the ruling party.
On the 2023 general elections, Bagudu who signed the statement on behalf of the APC governors said: “APC belongs to all Nigerians. Everyone, from every part of the country is free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of our party’s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. The guiding philosophy as enshrined in the provisions of our manifesto is economic, social and political development of Nigeria.
“The Progressive Reinforcement of our party continues. We look forward to receiving more patriots and progressive minded Nigerians into the APC!”
While welcoming Ayade to its forum, the APC governors said the fold remain steadfast in supporting the efforts and initiatives of President Muhammadu Buhari in building the APC as a strong and democratic political party in the country.
“We join all leaders and members to welcome this illustrious Nigerian into our great party. The decision of Mr. Ayade to join the APC is a testament of our party’s capacity to mobilise all Nigerians consistent with the vision of the founding fathers to ensure that the APC is a platform to unite all Nigerians. The coming of Mr. Ayade into the APC further reinforces the process of membership and leadership recruitment at all levels.
“We congratulate our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, whose sterling qualities and fair mindedness endear patriotic Nigerians to the party. Mr. President’s credentials as a fair leader who is impartial will continue to promote our party and serve as a major source of electoral advantage.
“Also, we salute our members of the APC National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee under the leadership of HE Mai Mala Buni for this milestone achievement of once again getting another experienced leader in the person of His Excellency Ben Ayade to join the APC.
“We welcome Mr. Ben Ayade for taking the courageous decision of leaving the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to join our party, the All Progressives Congress. The movement of our compatriot to the APC is indicative of his principles, commitment and conviction to the development of Nigeria.
“Given all his achievements in Cross River state, Mr. Ayade is only coming home where he belongs. APC is indeed the party that will provide him and his people, and indeed all Nigerians the viable platform for political aspirations and negotiations. Together with Mr. Ayade and all our leaders in the APC, our party’s capacity to serve the collective interests of all Nigerians through effective representation will be strengthened and reinforced.
“Our party, APC, is open, transparent and will continue to guarantee fair contestation in politics, in line with the overarching commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari and all our founding leaders.
“Our National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee has worked hard to restore the political credentials of the APC as a strong institution for Nigeria’s democratic development.
“We will continue to support the National Caretaker Extraordinary/Convention Planning Committee in all its current initiatives to rebuild our great party. With the coming of Mr. Ayade, the capacity of our party to mobilise all patriots and other like-minded progressive Nigerians to join the APC is stronger.”