***Our Commitment to Progressive Reforms, Electoral Promises Unwavering
The All Progressives Congress (APC) felicitates with President Muhammadu Buhari, the people of Nigeria and the APC family on the historic occasion of the 2021 Democracy Day, which coincides with the sixth anniversary of the people-oriented Buhari administation and the 22nd years of continuous democratic governance in Nigeria.
Nigerians can recall that it was the President Buhari-led APC administation that declared June 12 as Democracy Day in our unwavering commitment to democracy as contained in the APC mission statement and vision.
As Nigerians mark the 2021 Democracy Day, it is important to note that Africa’s most populous country remains the largest economy on the continent under the leadership of President Buhari, with a GDP of $514 billion as published in the latest World Bank report and this is inspite of lower oil production caused by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.
The proactive and successful implementation of the N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) has not only stimulated the economy and prevented business collapse amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, it has also created jobs through support to labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, public works and extending credit to Small and Medium scale Enterprises.
The proactive measures paved way for Nigeria’s quick exit from recession. The economy has returned to steady growth due to prudent economic management despite the lean resources available to the government.
We join all Nigerians and true democrats in expressing gratitude to President Buhari for his display of political will in the posthumous honour to Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election who paid the ultimate price in the struggle to actualise his unjustifiably annulled mandate.
The APC leadership and millions of our members and supporters will continue to recognise and appreciate the sacrifice made by many Nigerians in the enthronement of democracy in our nation which contributed in the decision to officially recognise June 12 as our Democracy Day.
In the six years of the Buhari administation, Nigeria has witnessed unprecedented renewal of vital infrastructure designed to support the continuous expansion of the Nigerian economy, facilitate domestic trade, enhance social interactions and promote ease of doing business.
The APC notes that no government in the country’s history has systematically taken steps to create jobs and alleviate poverty like the President Buhari-led administation. Alongside the various components of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs) like the N-Power with an approved intake of 1, 000, 000 and the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, 774, 000 young Nigerians have been gainfully employed under the Special Public Works (SPW) programme targeted at poor and low-skilled youths. This is one of the largest ever job-creation initiatives in Nigeria’s history, courtesy of the President Buhari-led government.
The security challenge faced by the country for over a decade is being successfully brought under control. The insurgency in the North East has virtually been put down, with the security forces conducting clearance operations. Kidnapping, banditry, clashes between farmers and animal rearers and the emergent agitations by separatists in the South East and South West, are being contained. The destruction
of public facilities including the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), several Police stations and correctional centres have been curtailed. Many of the criminals engaged in the subversive activities have been neutralised, apprehended and will face the full weight of the law.
Under the APC administration, our armed forces are now better equipped with new advanced platforms, which have enhanced their capability to fight terrorists, insurgents and other criminals. They are taking the battle to their hideouts. Currently, no inch of Nigeria’s territory is under the control of Boko Haram; as the hideouts of bandits, kidnappers and other criminals are being cleared with the miscreants suffering heavy casualties on a daily basis.
We urge stakeholders and indeed all well-meaning Nigerians to avoid politicising or being simplistic about the security situation. Our duty to the nation as good citizens should outweigh political party affiliations. This is not the time to play to the gallery over the sensitive matter of national security.
On the fight against corruption, the EFCC, ICPC and other sister agencies have detected cases of fraudulent self-enrichment and recovered hundreds of properties and cash. They have also won hundreds of court cases and some of the culprits are now serving jail terms, including high-level politically exposed persons.
The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Whistle blower policy, the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system ( IPPIS), the public procurement process and the rigorous National Assembly oversight of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have reduced the brazen misappropriation of public assets as was the case in the past.
The undeniably successful anti-corruption efforts of the President Buhari-led federal government have made more cash available for critical infrastructure projects, ushering us into the era of what many have fondly tagged the current infrastructure revolution.
It is a widely known fact that many of the clamours and agitations in the polity such as restructuring, fiscal federalism or devolution of powers require constitutional alterations. Commendably, the APC-dominated National Assembly has organised public hearings to gather inputs from across the country to ensure that such ideas are taken into cognisance in the process to alter some of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
At the party level, the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni, is doubling its efforts to meet up with the tasks ahead in 2023. A democracy is as strong as the political parties it produces; and the CECPC is rebuilding the APC to strengthen our democracy. The APC commitment to lead the process of political change in Nigeria is unwavering.
In line with the CECPC”s core mandate to engender unity in the party, promote true reconciliation and give a sense of belonging to every member of the Party, the CECPC effort at resolving internal misunderstanding have paid off with many formerly aggrieved members withdrawing and terminating all litigations involving the Party in compliance with the APC NEC resolution.
The CECPC embarked on a nationwide APC membership registration, revalidation and register update to increase the Party’s membership and support-base nationwide. The APC now has over 40 million registered members. Many Nigerians joined the party on account of the excellent performance of the President Buhari-led administation and state governments elected on the party platform.
As a peacemaker and stabilizing voice, Governor Mai Mala Buni is constantly meeting party leaders, party groups and interests in order to accommodate all in the APC fold. The outcome of this effort resulted in the return of prominent Party members and leaders including, the former PDP National Chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Dr. Alex Otti among others, to the APC family. Only recently, the Governor of Cross River State, Professor Ben Ayade renounced his membership of the opposition party and joined the APC.
Ahead of the planned APC National Convention and indeed the 2023 general elections, stakeholders have continued to support the CECPC efforts to strengthen unity in the party and make it a more formidable nation-building machine. This will lead to the delivery of more dividends of democracy across the country and many happy returns of Democracy Day celebrations under the APC-led governance.
Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe Ph.D
Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC)
All Progressives Congress (APC)