The All Progressives Congress (APC) says it remains the best option for Nigerians who are genuinely committed to the country’s progress and development.
Bolaji Abdullahi, the party’s national publicity secretary, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement was in reaction to a letter credited to former President Olusegun Obasanjo titled: ‘The Way out: a clarion call for the coalition for Nigeria movement’.
The former president had in the letter said the APC-led federal government had failed to live up to the expectations of Nigerians and had advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to re-contest the presidency in 2019.
Reacting, Abdullahi said: “We acknowledge our challenges as a new political party, even as we believe that APC remains the best option at this time for all Nigerians who are genuinely committed to the country’s progress and development.
“While we do not agree with everything the former president said, especially on his assessment of the government and our party we note the sundry issues raised by the former president, and we assume these were made in good faith.”
He added that as a father of the nation, the APC understood that the former president would feel obliged to intervene if certain things were not being done or are not being done in a particular way.
Abudullahi, however, said the APC believed that such interventions should be for the sole purpose of improving the system.
He added that such interventions should also be for encouraging the relevant institutions to work harder in improving certain situations in the interest of all.
Abudullahi said it was for this reason that the party disagreed with the former president “in what appears like a wholesale dismissal of the entire political system in the country”.
He noted that there were about 72 other registered political parties in the country and the people reserve the right to support any of them.
“Our democracy itself is young hence all the parties face sundry challenges, but we have made progress since 1999, with President Obasanjo himself being a major contributor to our progress as a multi-party democracy.
“It is for this reason that we believe the respected former president should not give the impression that none of the political parties in the country is good enough for Nigerians.”
The APC spokesman frowned at the suggestion by the former president that the only solution to the country’s current challenges was a completely new arrangement.
He maintained that the task of building a political party was not done overnight, adding that even the oldest political parties in Nigeria were still very young in comparison with those in advanced democracies.
He said Nigeria’s democracy, therefore, had a better chance of becoming really strong if political parties were allowed to find their identities.
This, he said, should be allowed even if in the process they made mistakes and appear to be “wobbling”, adding that no political party arrives fully formed.