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As our great party, the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) prepares for another round of general election in 2023, all loyal party members need to carefully remain strong, firm, patriotic, committed and united so that our success will not only be achieved but consolidated and sustained. 

Today as we can all see our party has redoubled its effort in promoting internal democracy and equal opportunities among our members, a unique and cherished development that has largely become one of the indices making the opposition parties envious of our party due to our strong moral rectitude, transparency, and excellent spirit of inclusiveness.

However, as pillars of democracy in Nigeria we must not renege in collectively girding our loins; we must note also that it won't do anybody or the party any good, when we condescend so low and resort to backstabbing, mudslinging, and name-calling in both traditional or social media platforms. As core progressives we must learn how to resolve our differences without endangering our personal relationships and the fate, interest and growth of APC. 

Although it is not unexpected that when political parties prepare for any election, the processes through which candidates emerge often appear tough and rough, which is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, it is a global phenomenon, even advanced icons of modern democracy are also not exempted, including United States, England, Canada etc, notwithstanding our loyalty at a time like this must never be compromised.

APC must also not lose sight of its overall interest which is to passionately promote unity and avoid sentiments that are capable of causing disaffection and disunity among us. Therefore it is important for us to manage with wisdom the high-level strategic lobbying by ambitious members, especially those touted to be close allies of President Muhammadu Buhari and with the strong desire to succeed him as Nigeria’s next President.

Permit me to say again that for those aspiring for public offices, our failure to realize such aspirations to fly the party’s flag, should not be a basis for a campaign of calumny against the party or our perceived rivals within the folk. We should endeavor to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship and always support the party to succeed no matter what, in order to defeat the common enemy which is the opposition party.

Impressively, we have eminent Nigerians like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Governor Dave Umahi, Governor Yahaya Bello, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Senator Chris Ngige and the list goes on.

Their greatest assets in this race is their seeming good standing with voters across the country and their intimidating credentials and track records, at least from the findings of the polls conducted so far and their popularity on social media where they seem to connect with young Nigerians across the 6 geo-political zones.

Indeed all Nigerians of voting age clearly understand that all APC presidential aspirants are round pegs for the round holes of Nigeria. And with any of them as our party standard bearer in less than two years after electoral victory, Nigerians would undoubtedly see the effects of APC governance. 

For the price we owe posterity, I must equally add here that Governor Fayemi is not a small fry in South West politics or can we possibly overlook the influence of Senator Amosun in Ogun State, their influences and strengths can never be wished away and I strongly salute their party loyalty since inception. 

However, it is an open secret that of all the presidential aspirants, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu appears to be a leading contestant that understands the terrain very well who deeply holds all the aces. 

Meanwhile, we his supporters would do ourselves and our principal well if we remain mindful of the manner we go about with our campaigns and support strategies. Should Asiwaju Tinubu eventually become the candidate of our party, he certainly can not do it alone. He would need the overwhelming surport of the above listed party leaders and their structures. We surely need to be guided and stick to the rules of decency and propriety, victory is our ultimate goal and we must not be distracted under any guise. 

However, have anyone looked at the INEC bye-elections results in the last 18 months? APC is constantly winning elections because the people know our party is on course in delivering dividends of democracy with zero tolerance for failure. PDP is our main challenger no doubt, but we shall continue win them. They have always been challenging us but the democratic and legitimate magic wand is always with us.

My joy once more is that our people have remained steadfast, resilient and determined to see the Nigeria of our dreams, and APC led government has remained steadfast also, determined, committed and focused to stay on course no matter the antics of the fifth columnists and hatchet men. As we speak goodluck is profoundly on our side as a ruling party, therefore we really need to be circumspect by ensuring that our party primary is conducted in manner that will acceptable to all stakeholders and making us stronger to achieve victory beyond 2023 and not disintegrate us.

*Hon Rotimi Makinde, Member Swaga Central Working Committe and former member of the 7th Assembly, he is presently an aspirant seeking to recontest in Ife federal Constituency of Osun state.*

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