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Ahead of the November 18 window when campaigns will officially begin in the run to the 2019 Presidential elections, APC Governors and President Muhammadu Buhari held a crucial meeting in Aso Rock,
Among other things, the governors elected under the platform of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) have said that they will campaign strictly based on “issues” in 2019.
Lagos state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor Rochas Okorocha, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar were all in the meeting with Buhari.
The governors said they believe campaigning on issues will ensure victory for the party and help it defeat opposition candidates and parties rather than dwelling on the individuals in the race.
This was revealed by the chairman of Progressives Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, while speaking with State House correspondents after he led some of his colleagues to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
The meeting took place inside the president’s office at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Mr Okorocha said they came to congratulate Mr Buhari on his emergence as the party’s sole presidential candidate and to also discuss the crises bedevilling the party following its primary elections which held last week.
“Our election this time will not engage in castigations, we will be talking on issues. Nigerians are tired of political abuses, what we want to be talking about are issues and track records of people involved in our elections,” the governor said.
Mr Okorocha said they decided to adopt this campaign method because they realise that, “Nigerians are very wise now. Before they elect anybody, the will ask questions: what has been your track record, who were you before and who are you now and everything about you. For that reason, we are confident that 2019, APC will pull through,” he said.
He said they also discussed the crises that followed the conduct of primaries across the states.
“We have also looked at issues concerning our primaries. In every democracy, expect some kind of disagreements and we have kindly requested that something be done to bring all warring factions together so we can have a united party to face the challenges ahead,” he said.
The conduct of APC primaries in Imo, Rivers, Kaduna, Zamfara and Adamawa led to crises in the ruling party.
Mr Okorocha however, said most of the problems have been solved except for one or two states.
The crisis was more pronounced in Zamfara State which made it impossible for the APC to conduct primary elections.
Mr Okorocha said they have already asked for Mr Buhari’s help to “intervene on the matter”.
He said they told Mr Buhari that he must ensure reconciliation of all aggrieved factions ahead of the 2019 elections.
“What is important to us is that we must not go into this battle a divided family and we want to make sure that all governors are intact, all National Assembly members are intact while going into this battle. We will never speak differently, we will speak as united leaders of the party,” he said