The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on Nigerians to look forward to the year 2019 with great optimism and positive possibilities.
The party’s national publicity secretary, Mr. Lanre Issa-Onilu, made the call in a statement in Abuja, while felicitating with Nigerians and welcoming them into the New Year.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari was poised to lead the charge to establish the Nigeria of our dreams in the coming year.
The APC spokesman further said the party was committed to good governance and a participatory democracy which allows for peaceful, free, fair, credible and transparent elections.
He, however, charged Nigerians to reflect on progress made by the APC-led administration in the last three and half years as they enter the New Year.
“On this joyous occasion, let us reflect on the tremendous progress we have made as a nation in the last three and half years.
“The significant leap towards recovering our country from the abyss would become obvious when we look back at the precarious state our country was in 2015 due to the preceding 16 years of irresponsible leadership,” he said.
Issa-Onilu added that it was heartwarming to note that Nigeria had now turned the corner, moving away from the years of waste towards a stable and prosperous future.
He stressed that as citizens, we must play our part by continuing to support ongoing efforts by the Buhari-led administration to rebuild the country.
He added that the 2019 general elections provide us great opportunity to consolidate on the progress we had made together as a country under the APC administration.
He reiterated the party’s stand that candidates that should be elected at all levels must be those that could pass the integrity test.
He further said that party candidates for elective positions should also be adjudged to be above board in positions of responsibility they held in the past.
Issa-Onilu added that the APC NEXT LEVEL campaign provided a clear roadmap to further deliver on its promises and the change agenda which was largely harped on fighting corruption, improving the economy and tackling insecurity.
“As a nation, we urge all to kick against unpatriotic practices such as hate campaign, spurious and unsubstantiated allegations,” he said.
According to him, such deliberate inciting statements are directed at critical state institutions and public officials by the desperate leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He maintained that as a progressive party, the APC remains committed to deepening internal party democracy, unity and cohesion to provide a strong and united political platform.
That, he said, was critical to ensure the success of the party’s change agenda at the federal, state and local levels.
“We must shun divisive elements in our private and public spaces who exploit sentiments to sell hate and intolerance amongst us in the name of religion, politics and other leanings.
“Despite our perceived differences, our strength remains in our diversity,” Issa-Onilu said.
For its part, the PDP said voting decisions of Nigerians in the 2019 general elections will determine the future of the country.
The party’s national chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus, stated this in his New Year message issued by his media aide, Mr. Ike Abonyi, on Tuesday in Abuja.
He advised Nigerians to see 2019 as “the restoration year” for the country.
He said that 2019 is critical in the life of the nation as it would be a turning point in the emerging political evolution.
“The general election in the country this year 2019 provides ample opportunity for the country to be rescued and restored as the biggest black nation in the world both economically and politically.
“This year provides us the ground to save our democracy and the country from the comatose state misrule has placed it.”
Secondus further said the year provides the way to correct the mistake Nigeria made in 2015, saying that good decisions by the voters in 2019 is needed to recover the country.
“Our nation did not bargain for this quantum of avoidable bloodletting and loss of human lives when it voted in 2015.
“Nigerians did not vote in 2015 for their economy which was the best in the continent to be so damaged to merit her the “poor” capital of the world.
“It was not the desire of Nigerians in 2015 when they voted to have such frightening unemployment record as confirmed by the National Bureau of Statistics after nearly four years,” the chairman said.
He noted that growing insecurity in the land, senseless killings across the country and mauling down of our troops by terrorists raised a lot of concern and called for real change in the nation’s polity.
He said that it would be a huge disservice to the nation if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to give the country free, fair and credible elections in 2019 to enable the will of the people to prevail as to who governs them.
He said that huge consequences await anybody who whether directly or indirectly did anything to undermine the will of the people by trying to manipulate the electoral process.
Secondus advised security agencies in the country to remember that their responsibility was to Nigeria and Nigerians and not to a particular government in power at a time by remaining transparently neutral in all political matters.
“Anything otherwise from security agencies during this electioneering and always amounts to great disservice to the people of Nigeria whose tax pay they use for their upkeep,” he said.
Secondus said that the PDP elevated Nigeria’s democratic status by introducing electoral reforms that saw it defeated and had a seamless transition to an opposition.
He said if the party could do that, democratic world should be concerned at the president’s refusal to sign an amended Electoral Act that would have facilitated a smooth and transparent election.
“In wishing Nigerians a prosperous and trouble free new year, the national chairman, however, advised them to take their destiny in their hands by not only coming out massively to cast their votes but to be ready and prepared to defend them.”
He urged the global democracies to show more than passing interests in the country’s general election because of the strategic importance of Nigeria in the democratic community of Africa.
With NAN report