By OBIORA IFOH, OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU AND DENNIS AGBO

. APC vows to work for all Nigerians

President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to end the scourge of Boko Haram insurgency in the country as soon as possible.

But his campaign outfit, All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation, APCPCO, refuted reports that the President-elect has pledged to end the scourge within two months.Buhari-and-Boko-Haram-Leader

APCPCO’s Director of Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja yesterday said although, ending the Boko Haram insurgency is top on the agenda of the incoming government, it has to be done with involvement of service chiefs.

He said: “His Excellency, the President-Elect is still waiting to be sworn in on May 29. After the ceremony, he would need time to study the security situation and plan strategically with the security chiefs as to the way forward.

“Time is of essence here. Therefore, President Buhari didn’t and wouldn’t peg the decimation of terrorism from the country’s territories to just two months.

“The General was unequivocal about cleansing Boko Haram from our land; he would do a good job of it by giving a final permanent push to rid Nigeria of unscrupulous elements.

“The President-Elect said that much to the world media, including the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, and Cable News Network, CNN.

“He never put a time-frame to when he would eliminate terrorists, and it would be unfair and mischievous for someone to ascribe to him what he hasn’t said.”

The party yesterday pledged that it will form a government that will work for all Nigerians, irrespective of party or ethnic affiliations, even as it craved for the emergence of a virile and constructive opposition from the outgoing ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Congratulating Gen. Buhari for his historic victory in Saturday’s presidential election, APC also thanked Nigerians for voting massively for the party to bring in a new dawn after a long, dark night.

In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, APC said Gen. Buhari’s victory will make Nigeria work again, rekindle hope and bring succour to the long suffering people of the country.

It said: “Nigerians have used their votes to bring change. We hear their message loud and clear: They want a government that works, and will not hesitate to use the same votes to kick out any government that fails to deliver.”

APC also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for the rare sportsmanship he exhibited by conceding defeat and congratulating Gen. Buhari, even before the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, formally declared him winner.

Mohammed said that by that singular act, which went a long way in dousing post-election tension, the President has snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, written his name in gold in the annals of Nigeria’s history and catapulted himself to a statesman.

he said it is time for all Nigerians, irrespective of political leaning, to put the acrimonious electioneering campaign behind them and to forge a united front to tackle the enormous challenges facing the nation.

Mohammed added: “The APC-led Federal Government will work for all Nigerians, whether or not they voted for us in the elections, or did not even vote at all. We will not discriminate against any Nigerian on the basis of religion, region, ethnicity or gender. We are all God’s own people.”

“Having been in opposition ourselves, we know what it means to keep the government of the day on its toes with very robust and constructive criticism, and we expect no less from those who have swapped places with us.”

Thanking ECOWAS, the African Union, the EU, the UN and the entire international community for their support for the country’s democratisation process, Mohammed described their role as invaluable in the success of the ongoing political transition.

It added: “Equally worthy of our gratitude is the civil society. Working relentlessly under the umbrella Situation Room, civil society organisations played an unprecedented and very important role before, during and after the presidential/National Assembly elections. We, and indeed all Nigerians, owe them a debt of gratitude for the success of the elections.

“Finally, and most importantly, we want to give glory to God for His divine intervention that has always pulled our country back from the brink, even at times when hope was in short supply and the night seemed so dark and unending.”

Meanwhile, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which endorsed President Jonathan for re-election, yesterday congratulated Gen. Buhari for his landslide victory.

In the same vein, the Enugu Catholic priest, who predicted Jonathan’s fall, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, has also congratulated the president-elect and urged him to tackle corruption.

In a statement by the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Gary Enwo-Igariwey, the organisation urged Buhari and all Nigerians to justifiably take great pride in “this peaceful achievement, which serves to signal the expansion and deepening of true democracy in our nation.”

Ohanaeze also congratulated President Jonathan for what it described as his display of rare statesmanship ever seen in the country.

The fiery Priest, Mbaka, whose New Year Message entitled “From Goodluck to Badluck” drew mixed reactions across the country, described Buhari’s emergence as a divine victory for the the whole country.

The priest, in a press briefing, through the spokesman of his ministry, Mr. Maximus Ike Ugwuoke, urged the President-Elect to devote attention to tackling the myriads of problems facing the country.

“It is with vindictive joy and glory to God that Adoration Ministry, the nation and indeed the world saw the fulfillment of Fr Mbaka’s New Year prophesy of change with the miraculous victorious emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari at the March 28th polls as the President Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We wish to reinstate that before President Jonathan became the President of this country, Fr Mbaka prophesied it in his message titled ‘Okolo’.

“Today again, Buhari’s victory among other lessons it portends to Nigerians has once more confirmed to all and sundry that Fr Mbaka is indeed a true Prophet of God and that His New Year message was indeed from the Oracle of the Holy Spirit as he declared.

“The ministry with magnanimous heart holds no grudges against anyone who attacked it in one way or the other at the rage of the controversies surrounding Fr Mbaka’s message and view their actions as being orchestrated by their misconstruing of Fr Mbaka’s prophetic calling.

“The Ministry joins the rest of Nigerians to congratulate Muhammadu Buhari as God’s chosen instrument of Change to tackle the myriads of problems facing Nigeria and pray God to endow him with the wisdom to go about this onerous task.

“We see Buhari’s victory as divine victory to all Nigerians irrespective of our religious and ethnic divide,” he stated.

The Cleric was, however, quick to advise Buhari to seek divine wisdom before choosing people he would work with.

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