2023: ‘APC on the brink’, Says ex-PGF DG, Salihu

While the All Progressives Congress (APC) is leaving no stone unturned to maintain a grip on power beyond the 2023 general election, a chieftain of the party, Salihu Lukman said the ruling party is on ‘the brink’.

Lukman, who recently resigned from the position of the Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), an umbrella body for APC Governors made this assertion in an open letter to party’s leaders, made available to newsmen in Abuja.

He said the party’s present predicament is propelled by selfish leaders apart from President Muhammadu Buhari, who has detailed from the founding philosophy of the APC such promotion of internal democracy, unity, contestations, amongst others.

The former PGF Director-General noted that by the time of the 2019 elections, mismanagement of internal contest in APC was rampant but unlike the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Buhari was not the problem, saying it was the imperial conduct of national leaders of the party, especially the then National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

“Again, unlike the case of the PDP, APC was extremely lucky to have a leader in President Buhari who doesn’t meddle in the affairs of the party. Sadly, this became the license for party leaders to abuse the trust of both the President and the majority of party leaders and members. Over time, this has damaged the profile of the APC to the point whereby, based on the conduct of leaders and some elected representatives of the party, it is difficult to associate the APC with its founding vision of change.

“This reality is very disturbing. APC today, wasn’t the APC of the period 2013 to 2015. Perhaps outside President Buhari, there are very few elected leaders in APC who are still committed to the founding vision of the party to provide leadership to change Nigerian politics. Given where the nation is coming from under PDP, changing Nigerian politics would require a departure from requiring citizens to be blindly loyal to elected leaders.

“This may sound like wishful thoughts. The truth, however, is that our dear APC is being held captive by some few leaders whose interest is only about imposing themselves as candidates for elections. So long as that is the case, it means what we have as APC today wasn’t the party negotiated and produced out of our legacy parties.

“Every founding leader and member of the APC must rise to the challenge of arresting the drift in the party. Few individual leaders of the party must not be allowed to continue to impose themselves and destroy a party with the potential to provide the needed democratic platform for negotiated resolutions of all the problems of Nigeria.

“Beyond the unbiased leadership of President Buhari, there is the need for all party leaders and members committed to the politics of change to ensure the emergence of party leaders at the Feb. 26 National Convention, who must be tolerant to criticisms and disagreements and should not expect members to be blindly loyal.

“Above all, if the APC is to return to its founding vision of driving the process of change in Nigeria, it must produce leaders who would be able to compel elected representatives produced by the party to be accountable to Nigerians.

“After the February 26, 2022, National Convention, if APC is to return to its founding vision of being a party committed to changing Nigerian politics, the new APC leaders must ensure that structures of the party meet as and when due as provided by the party’s constitution.

“Once decisions are taken at meetings, the new party leaders must ensure expeditious implementation.

“Implementation of decisions must not be determined based on the convenience of leaders, which unfortunately is becoming the reputation of the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC)”, the letter read in part.

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