President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated winners of All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries across the country and urged the losers to demonstrate sportsmanship.
In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari urged the losers of the primaries to accept the outcomes without bitterness or resentment, and band together to ensure the party’s success in next year’s poll.
“In every competition, someone has to win and someone has to lose, but those who lost should not abandon the party or lose their enthusiasm for the advancement of the party,” he said.
President Buhari, who was the APC’s unanimous choice in next year’s presidential race, also advised Nigerian politicians to learn from several aspirants like Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State “who despite his loss didn’t abandon APC for another party because he was angry over the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries.’’
“The larger interest of our party is greater than our individual ambitions, and we should, therefore, work together for its success, despite our losses.
“In politics, we shouldn’t lose hope permanently because tomorrow could present another opportunity for us to contest again and win,” Buhari said.
He advised the losers of the primaries “to always put the party first because we are in it together to serve the country, and I am always proud of our members who demonstrate sportsmanship and a good party spirit.”
To the winners, President Buhari said, “show grace in victory instead of mocking the losers, as such action is capable of destroying party unity and cohesion. The tent is large enough for us.”
He added that those elected should see their positions as a public trust instead of abusing their mandates to amass personal wealth at the expense of those who voted them into power.
Buhari will be going up against former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar in the presidential race after the latter clinched the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket Sunday.