Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president, has said millions of Nigerians, who have died for the country to remain united, is a pointer to practical experience on ‘hard-earned patriotism.’
Buhari spoke on Tuesday when he received former state chairpersons of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), at the state house, Abuja.
A statement by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, quoted the president as saying that the passion and zeal for improving the livelihood of Nigerians, which culminated in the creation of the political party, had not dwindled.
The president said the self-centeredness that led to the loss of about a million lives between from 1966 — just before the Civil War — till date, must not be allowed to repeat itself.
The president called for more steadfastness among Nigerians, and urged political leaders to stay focused and uphold the ultimate objective of promoting the interest of the country.
“Our main objective is the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are human beings. We have our weaknesses, but I can assure you that the patriotism in us is hard-earned,” he said.
“We have gone through all the troubles from 15th of January 1966 to date. You know what I mean by this. We have killed a million of ourselves in order to keep this country together.
“I don’t think there can be any practical experience more than that. We are Nigerians. God willing, we remain Nigerians and Nigeria will remain one.”
The president also urged members of the defunct CPC and political leaders to work towards preserving the unity, peace and integrity of the nation.
Buhari thanked the former chairpersons of the CPC for always highlighting the achievements of the government.
“I am delighted to welcome the forum of state chairmen of the former Congress for Progressive Change to State House today. I accord great significance to this visit as it demonstrates a determination and commitment to identify with our administration,” Buhari said.
“I commend members of this forum and all members of the legacy party-CPC, for their continued dedication to the ideals of democratic governance that we all believed in.
“I am particularly grateful for the unalterable belief the members of CPC and, by extension, the Nigerian electorate, had and still have in me as demonstrated in their unalloyed support for our electoral struggles, which reflected in the results that we consistently recorded at the polls over the years.”
He said the solid credentials that the CPC possessed gave the party a prime place in the merger that led to the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Describing Buhari as the “patriarch of the CPC’’, Umar Shuaibu, chairman of forum, commended the president for providing strong leadership over the years, particularly in remaining “balanced, fair and above board” in electoral issues.
Shuaibu said the party had maintained all its structures across the country, and assured the president of their loyalty, especially in the forthcoming elections.
He said the CPC had always garnered millions of votes in elections across the country and would support Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate.