The National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, admitted that the ruling party has failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians after almost three years in office.
He also said that the goodwill which it enjoyed during the 2015 general elections and the inauguration of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had been squandered.
Tinubu therefore concluded that the APC has a lot of work to do to regain public confidence and solidarity before the 2019 general elections.
The former Governor of Lagos State bared his mind on the state of the party on Wednesday in Abuja when he held a closed-door meeting with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party at its secretariat.
The meeting was Tinubu’s first since Buhari appointed him to reconcile all the feuding leaders of the APC in various states of the federation.
In his down to earth assessment of the APC, Tinubu said that the party had faced several challenges since it took over power in 2015, stressing that it needs serious consultations and reconciliation moves to regain the goodwill of Nigerians.
He listed some of the challenges confronting the APC as the disorder in the North Central and North East zones, killings and agitations, as well as intra-party squabbles.
Tinubu said that the expectations of Nigerians had been high since the party won the presidential election in 2015, but regretted that the expectations had not been met.
In a brief chat with journalists before he went for a close-door meeting with the NWC, the APC leader said that his visit was to consult with the party’s leadership, in line with the mandate given to him by the President, stressing that consultations and reconciliation were required since APC is still the hope of Nigerians for a better future.
He said: “I am here to consult, since you are already aware of the directive and announcement of the President who is the leader of our party and the President of this country.
“First, let me sympathise with our National Vice Chairman for North Central for the various incidents that are happening around that corridor, and may God bring peace to Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa, and the country as a whole, and all other places being affected by the age-old system that we are now facing.
“After the last convention of the party, congresses were held from various wards to elect representatives from the ward, local government and states levels as well as the national level. We worked hard for victory. We have never governed before, but we won the confidence of Nigerians to govern.
“We have a creed to really serve the country; change and reform the country. It is not easy to have those changes implemented like instant curfew. We have to grow and face challenges.
“I sympathise with us and we should equally look at ourselves. Since we won the election, the expectations were very high and the goodwill was extremely high. But where are we today?
“The solution is to seek opinion and advise on the various complexities around some states or if there is any national one, to reconcile, move the party in a cohesive manner and reposition and build the confidence among ourselves”.
According to Tinubu, the challenges faced by the government and the President are enormous, noting that Nigerians were not paying attention to the various statistics that are available and “we have to push that. I won’t touch those areas yet,” he said.
Earlier, the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who described Tinubu as a “Peace Ambassador”, said that his visit was significant as the President moves to heal wounds where the party has any, as well as to bring every member of the APC together under a single objective, which is to give the party a runaway victory in 2019.