President Muhammadu Buhari has assured members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, that he is fully behind the party and its candidates in every state of the federation. And campaigning for them vigorously wherever he goes.
The President made this clarification through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, who spoke to journalists on Wednesday.
Shehu dismissed insinuations that the president did not show full support for the APC while campaigning in Imo State on Tuesday. The state made headlines recently for the emergence of fractions within the ruling party in Imo, a situation that fuelled animosity between the state governor, Rochas Okorocha, and some critical stakeholders in the party.
“The massive crowd that gathered to welcome President Buhari in Imo State was made up of not only supporters of the APC in the state, but also supporters of other parties who are united by their love for the President and their desire to see him re-elected, despite the local candidates they support,” Shehu said.
The presidential spokesperson explained that Buhari’s consciousness of this obviously-mixed crowd was the reason why he did not speak only about support for the APC during the campaign, but also encouraged the people to vote according to their consciences.
“While President Buhari is fully behind APC,” Shehu continued, “he welcomes endorsements from those who do not belong to the ruling party but is also sensitive to their support for non-APC candidates at the local level. It would have been insensitive of him to offend his non-APC supporters by ignoring their local affiliations.”
Shehu also noted the president’s open endorsement of Hope Uzodinma, the APC gubernatorial candidate in Imo State, whose hand he raised high before the crowd at the campaign rally.
“President Buhari is for the APC in every state and there is no doubt about that, despite his immense cross-party support,” he said.