The chairman of the All Progressives congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has described those leaving the party as mercenaries who joined the party because of what they could gain and failed to do so.
The chairman made this statement at the inauguration of its elected National Executives of the 39-member Non-National Working Committee (NWC) on Wednesday at the party’s national secretariat.
Reiterating that he was ready to listen and address genuine grievances, he however, said for these mercenaries, the doors and windows of the party are wide open.
“For the mercenaries, who mistakenly joined the party because of what they can gain personally, not for the good of the country, not for the good of the party. They came in purely for greener pastures and they have found that they have had to work hard to plant the grass, to wet it, nourish it for it to become green and they cannot wait.
“They want to run, not because we have wronged them but because we just cannot satisfy a mercenary. For those ones, we will not only open the door, we are ready to open even the windows.
“But I am ready to go to any length to persuade and appeal to genuine people who are aggrieved, but like I have said, I am not intimidated; I am not frightened, I am not impaired and I want to urge everyone of you individually and collectively that we cannot be intimidated.
Speaking on the coalition formed by 38 parties, he said the event was a collection of old coaches searching frantically for new ideas.
He said the coalition only proves each of those parties cannot stand alone to face the APC and he believes they would fail, even as a team.
He said the message they have simply passed is “we want to capture power even though we are different, but for the purpose of capturing power, we will unite’, and I do not think Nigerians need any further explanation that enough of this opportunistic politicking”.
“The more they search, the more they get old players, not even the best of them, but the worst of old players and I do not think Nigerians can be fooled by a coalition of that. If you harness the energy of one million snails and transform it into one snail to run, it cannot catch up with an antelope.
“It was a clear admission that as things stand today, neither the one we defeated before, the PDP, nor the new one that claim they have formed a new party but populated by the same old tired legs, or the mushroom parties that were formed for the purpose of getting handouts from INEC but that they agreed that none of them has what it takes,” he said.
He also blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) whose personnel still control government agencies for the slow growth in its change project, stating that they must be removed as they do not hold the same change ideology with the APC.
“We are aware that even as at today, we still have a lot of PDP people occupying very important positions in federal agencies. We will do everything possible to purge these elements out of the system because we are a party of change. They are the conservative right-wing party. We cannot entrust to conservative forces, an agenda for change.
“Government is not in the Villa. Villa is the head of government. Government is in the agencies – what they do, how they do it, the quality of service delivery and the style of that service delivery. That is how the ordinary man interfaces with power.
“If these agencies are in the hands of those who do not believe in our change agenda, then we cannot expect miracles from them. And for those who are aggrieved as to how certain things are done, those who question that they do not seem to see the difference because substantially, PDP is still managing these agencies. So, we have a duty to convince the federal executive that we have no business, this government has no business with any PDP in sensitive federal agencies and using their old tactics in service delivery. That, I believe is a task that all of us must pursue.
He therefore called on all to work consciously to ensure these “sinners” are replaced with “believers”.
“Believers are those who are card-carrying members of our party and before we go outside the party family, we must convince ourselves that the persons we are taking, we are taking him because we do not have that particular expertise within the family, but even so, he must first take the card and demonstrate loyalty because if you do not believe in a process, you cannot be entrusted with the management of that process.
He said their removal is necessary not because they are hungry to let their people have the jobs, but because he has no confidence that PDP appointees can drive the changes that APC promised.
“APC promises must be kept by APC activists at managerial level, at board level and at political level. That, we must all work to achieve but while we are working on that, I will ask you to have patience because some people give up too much early in life.
“I think the most fundamental purpose that brought the APC into being was to save Nigerians from the misrule of the PDP. That has been achieved but the second challenge is now to take advantage of our being in office to work hard to deliver to Nigerians, first, before ourselves.”
Speaking on corruption, he said corrupt individuals were fighting back and frustrating government’s effort.
Speaking on Ekiti and the party’s rally which held on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, he said it was a success despite what he described as the “crude misuse of limited state power which Governor Fayose chose to do, but our superior commitment to progress and to overcome challenges explains the huge crowd that you saw”.
Condemning the action of the governor where he paid off all the taxi drivers, bus drivers and Okada riders which according to him was to demobilise the movement facility, he said, “you can demobilise all of those but what you cannot demobilise is the will of the people to do what they believe in.”