Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
As Nigeria celebrates its 60th Independence Day anniversary, All Progressives Congress (APC) governors under the auspices of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) have stated that they are proud of the accomplishments of the country as a democratic republic.
In a statement issued by the PGF Chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Forum appealed to all politicians and parties to embrace the new political culture of accepting the outcome of electoral results.
The statement reads:
‘On this auspicious occasion of the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence, the PGF wishes to join President Muhammadu Buhari, all our revered leaders – traditional, religious, organised private sector, labour, civil society, women, youth, persons with disabilities, political leaders across all our political parties – and indeed all Nigerians to celebrate this historic day.
‘We in particular commend and congratulate the Nigerian people for their resilience and faith in a united democratic Nigeria. 60 years of Independence and nationhood were years with moments of rasping experiences.
‘Coming out of these years as a united country gives us all the reasons for celebration, most especially because we are today emerging as a stable democracy having been in our Fourth Republic for 20 years now with six successful general elections.
‘Therefore, emerging as a stable democracy, we can say with confidence that the growing confidence of our people to our fledgling democratic system of governance is indisputable.
‘As governors elected on the platform of our party, APC, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles that democratic governance should lead to improved welfare for the mass of our citizens. This imposes a responsibility on all elected representatives to work for policies that promote the wellbeing of citizens.
‘Guided by the manifesto of our party, since 2015, our governments in all our states controlled by the APC and at the federal level have remained focused, implementing pro-people initiatives across all sectors.
‘On this occasion of our 60th Independence Anniversary, we want to specially celebrate our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, for being a source of indiscriminate leadership at this point in our national life.
‘At a time when partisan affiliation is expected to influence political choices both with respect to government initiatives, beneficiaries and location, President Buhari is providing indiscriminate leadership ensuring that all Nigerians from all parts of the country irrespective of all our differences receive equal treatment.
‘Under the leadership of President Buhari, our politics is today being refined to ensure indiscriminate development of all parts of the country. In addition, the President is inspiring all of us in APC to change our political culture especially in relations to electoral contests.
‘Unlike what obtains in other parties where the operative culture is to manipulate electoral contests to produce set outcomes, the environment in our party, APC, is being made more liberal. With such a liberal atmosphere, combined with the impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as a governing party, our electoral probability, in all elections, is even.
‘We win or lose elections depending on our ability to convince the electorate to vote for our party and our candidates. And when we lose in a fair contest, we concede defeat and congratulate the winner.
‘This is the next level politics already in play, championed by APC. We appeal to all politicians and parties to embrace this new political culture in Nigeria. We are proud of our accomplishments as a democratic country and as a political party and hereby restate our commitment to make all our states models of good governance with records of rapid human development and progress founded on the principles of social democracy in line with provisions of our party constitution and manifesto.
‘We shall continue to take all the necessary steps to roll out programmes in our states that will facilitate the development of synergy, experience sharing and collaboration. We felicitate with all Nigerians and reiterate our commitment to the democratic development of Nigeria while putting in place programmes to improve the welfare and living conditions of all Nigerians.
‘This is the basis of our programmes for massive infrastructural projects both at federal levels and all our states. We congratulate all Nigerians on this 60th Independence Anniversary and pray for many more years of democratic development!’