By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend in Abuja pleaded with members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who lost at the party’s primaries to learn from Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, and remain in the party.
Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said the president advised Nigerian politicians to learn from Ambode whom he said “despite his loss didn’t abandon APC for another party because he was angry over the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries.’’
He said the president urged the party members to exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the outcomes of the elections without bitterness or resentment.
“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,” the president said.
He also quoted the president as saying, “the larger interest of our party is greater than our individual ambitions, and we should therefore work together for its success, despite our losses.’’
Shehu further said Buhari admonished the losers that “in politics, we shouldn’t lose hope permanently because tomorrow could present another opportunity for us to contest again and win.’’
Furthermore, the statement said the president advised the losers “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.”
It also said the president enjoined the winners “to 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.”
The statement added that Buhari also advised winners to “see their positions as a public trust instead of abusing their mandates to amass personal wealth at the expense of the ordinary voters who voted them into power.’