From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged political leaders to stay focused and uphold the ultimate objective of promoting interest of the country.
“We’re Nigerians, God willing we remain Nigerians, and Nigeria shall remain one,’’ he declared
He warned that self-centeredness that led to the loss of over a million lives between 1967-1970 must not be allowed to repeat itself.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari made the plea when he received former state chairmen of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) at the State House.
According to him, the passion and zeal for improving the livelihood of Nigerians, which culminated in creation of the political party had not dwindled, calling for more steadfastness as Nigerians.
President Buhari said the self-centeredness that led to the loss of about a million lives between 1967-1970 must not be allowed to repeat itself, noting that the CPC was founded on the bedrock of patriotism and loyalty to the unity of Nigeria.
“Our main objective is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are human beings. We have our weaknesses, but I can assure you that the patriotism in us is hard earned. We have gone through all the troubles from 15th of January 1966 to date. You know what I mean by this, we have killed a million of ourselves in order to keep this country together.
“I don’t think there can be any practical experience more than that. We are Nigerians, God willing we remain Nigerians and Nigeria will remain one.”
President Buhari urged all members of defunct CPC and political leaders to always be mindful of the larger picture by working towards preserving the unity, peace and integrity of the nation.
He thanked former chairmen of the political party, which was merged to form the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), for always highlighting the achievements of the government, admitting that some areas will surely get more attention.
“The doggedness with which we pursued our vision and goals that culminated into the success we recorded remain like bright stars in the history of our dear nation,” he said.
Buhari said it was the solid credentials that the CPC possessed that gave the party a prime place in the merger that led to the formation of the All Progressives Congress.
He said other political parties in the merger include the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) along with some members from the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and People’s Democratic Party.
The president said efforts had been made in appointing some members of CPC in his government, including those in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) like the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Minister of Water Resources, and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
Describing the President as the “Patriarch of the CPC’’, chairman of Forum of State Chairmen of the defunct CPC and former fhairman of the party in Niger State, Umar Shuaibu, said the party had maintained all its structures across the country, assuring President Buhari of their loyalty, especially in the forthcoming elections.