President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday appealed to all aspirants who lost during the recent primaries of the All Progressives Congress across the country not to abandon the party.
He urged them to demonstrate the spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the outcomes without bitterness or resentment.
Buhari made the appeal in a statement made available to journalists by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
The President also congratulated winners of the primaries and asked them to be magnanimous in victory.
“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,” Buhari said.
He advised Nigerian politicians to learn from several aspirants like the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, “who despite his loss didn’t abandon APC for another party because he was angry over the outcome of the gubernatorial primaries.’’
The President added, “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.
“Losers of the primaries should 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.”
The President also 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.”
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 the ordinary voters who voted them into power.’’