ABUJA— A frontline contender for the office of national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has declared that if voted in at the party’s forthcoming national convention, the party would no longer admit reactionary elements or people of questionable character.
He spoke, yesterday, in Abuja when he visited an APC chieftain and former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Kalu.
Oshiomhole said: “I believe, working along with leaders like you and other leaders of our party, we’ll begin the process of building a functional, democratic, masses-based, membership-driven, membership-funded political party that is accountable to its members.
“That way, Nigerians will begin to see over time the difference between the APC and any other party. When I read newspapers, I see people wondering aloud, what is the difference between Party A and Party B?
‘’You really cannot fault them because the difference is so difficult to define but I believe that going forward, we must begin to consciously work towards that.
“So, if a reactionary element wants to join the APC and by his antecedents, we feel that his values, his actions do not conform to the core values of social democracy, we should be able to engage him and say, ‘Mr Applicant, maybe you have to look elsewhere’.
“I do not think we should be a platform for all from the extreme right, the extreme left and even fascists. I think over time, this must be the objective so that in the years to come, Nigerians will be able to say, the APC, this is what they stand for on issues of housing, education, healthcare and various social policies; and the other parties.
‘’This is where they stand. And it is not as if we were not there before. I believe in the Second Republic or so, the NPN that was the governing party believed in what they called qualitative education and the UPN talked about free education.
In his reaction, Kalu promised to support the chairmanship aspirant for as long as he continued to remain on the same page with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “We are in the journey together where President Muhammadu Buhari will offer himself to Nigerians to recontest in the next few months. It is a long journey. You have us as the leader of the party in Abia.
‘’Personally, I will support you. You are a strong candidate. Be assured of our prayers and as long as you support our President, I will support you. If you don’t support our President, I will not support you. There will be other candidates, but we pray that you succeed.”