President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other opposition parties in the country to learn from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in order to advance the democratic space and good governance in the country.
Speaking at the public presentation ceremony of the book From Opposition to Governing Party: Nigeria’s APC Merger Story, written by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, at Yar’ Adua’s Centre, Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari described the book as a compendium of political history of APC’s success story, worthy of emulation by every opposition party.
He commended Onu for authoring the book, which he noted would not only be an asset to the economic development of the country but also its political future.
“Onu has not only contributed economically by writing this book but politically. It is a product of intellectual and political work. We are inclined not to learn from the history but this book will serve as a compendium of our checkered political history for everyone to learn from our political past and move the nation forward,” Buhari said.
“Without the emergence of APC, PDP would have killed Nigeria. That is why we stood our ground tenaciously in the midst of failures and difficulties to form APC. After I lost three times in the presidential election I decided not to contest again but people came and persuaded me to run again, saying that, ‘‘I no longer belong to myself but to them and urged me to accept their request.”
However, the president challenged the Minister to use his wealth of experience and intellect to transform Nigeria through his ministry by producing creative and innovative scientists.
“As a scientist, I can trace my relationship with Ogbonnaya Onu to 2005, during the early days of the formation of APC merger. I throw the challenge to him and I would want to see how many world class scientist he will produce for Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking earlier, former Vice President and Chairman of the occasion, Atiku Abubakar, said Onu’s appointment was well-deserved. He described him as a gentle man, with amazing intellect and sense of focus, humility and honesty.
On the book, Atiku said: “It is amazing for him to find time to chronicle a book on the progressives to come together in the interest of the country to provide alternative leadership.
“For me, it is a story of patriotism and hope, determination, sacrifice for humility and above all for change,” he said.
“Nigeria’s story in Africa makes this a story of innermost lessons for all African countries. I have no doubt that you have the capacity for a multi-task to drive the ministry of science and technology to the desired level,” he said.