President Bola Tinubu on Thursday insisted his victory at the poll is a reflection of the wishes of the majority of the electorates.
The President also charged leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), particularly elected officials, to be steadfastly committed to good governance which will re-engineer the economic and political landscape of the nation to address the needs of the poor.
Speaking at the 12th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party where former Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and Senator Basiru Ajibola emerged as the new National Chairman and National Secretary respectively, the President pledged that his administration would continue to ensure that all government programmes benefit and uplift the masses of the country rather than bringing more pain.
President Tinubu, who addressed the NEC meeting for the first time since his election victory in February, emphasised that winning the election was just the beginning of a longer progressive journey while noting that responsive and accountable governance is a separate challenge that requires continuous effort.
“We are in the process of establishing fully a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. It is in my time that the subsidy has been removed, and it is now upon us to satisfy the yearnings of the poor in a larger, restructured economy”, he declared.
He urged party members to promote unity, stability, and camaraderie forged in common purpose among themselves, reiterating that nurturing the party should start from the grassroots level.
The President also called on the party faithful to train its sights squarely on development and prosperity for the country, adding that his administration is poised to build international trade partnerships across sectors that will benefit, not just the national coffers, but the wallets and accounts of the Nigerian people.
On the general acceptance of the outcome of the presidential election, the President defended the legitimacy of the election and echoed his earlier position that those who do not accept the outcome of a free and fair election do not deserve the joy of victory.
”We have worked hard, and we have received the trophy. Winning an election is the first part of the process. What is next is good governance and quality service delivery. We must promote unity, peace, and love among all organs of the party.
”You are the makers and drivers of the party. When we have all passengers inside the bus, the driver must not fall asleep. The brake must also work well. Party loyalty must exist.
“As I always say, those who cannot accept the result of a free and fair election do not deserve the joy of victory”, he said.
On the main agenda of the NEC meeting, which appointed new External Auditors to audit party accounts and filled the vacant offices of National Chairman and National Secretary, the President urged the NEC of the party to devolve some of its powers to the National Working Committee (NWC) to fill other vacancies in the party.
This request was sequel to a motion moved by Senate President Godswill Akpabio and seconded by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, who doubles as the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF).
The President had noted that during the last NEC meeting of April 20, 2022, the NEC of the party had ceded some of its powers to NWC for the smooth party operations and he thanked them for effectively utilizing that mandate.
In his welcome address, the Acting National Chairman, Sen. Abubakar Kyari said the ruling party was conscious of the new challenges facing it as the majority party at the sub-national level and in the National Assembly.
Paying tribute to the founding members of the party, Kyari said the party had achieved significant milestones that have made a positive impact on Nigerians since its establishment ten years ago.
He congratulated the President, the Vice President and all elected party members on their election victory, describing the recent election of the Nigerian leader to the ECOWAS Chairmanship as a foreign policy triumph for Nigeria.
‘‘The nation is happy with you for your bold and courageous decisions,’’ he told the President, adding that the policies the administration has pursued in the last two months have laid a solid foundation for the growth and development of Nigeria”, he stated.
He promised that the party would continue to stand with President Tinubu no matter the complexities of the challenges ahead.