A former National Vice Chairman (North West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman has debunked rumours that he is against the administration of President Bola Tinubu.
Lukman, a former Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) submitted that contrary to what some people believe, he is not against Tinubu and he has confidence in the ability of the President to do the right thing.
According to him, the APC and Nigeria are lucky to have Tinubu who was part of the pro-democracy struggles against military rule as its leader and there is no doubt the President would be able to reform the party accordingly.
The APC chieftain however expressed concerns about the policy direction of the government under Tinubu and the marginalization of the North-central region, claiming that if the current trend is not reversed, former President Muhammadu Buhari may turn out to be more progressive than Tinubu despite the low ratings of the former Nigerian leader.
Naija News reports Lukman made the declaration in a statement titled, “Why Political Parties in Nigeria should be Reformed”, which he released to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday.
He added that he was against the nomination of Abdullahi Ganduje as the APC National Chairman by President Tinubu but since the emergence of the former Kano State Governor, he has accepted his leadership.
Lukman said: “Part of the motivation is also to clarify many of the allegations against me that I am against the leadership of President Tinubu. I must say very clearly, that I disagreed with President Tinubu’s decision to nominate Dr. Ganduje as the National Chairman of APC but I respect and accept the fact that Dr. Ganduje is today the National Chairman.
“I also have strong concerns about the direction taken by the Federal Government under the leadership of President Tinubu. Under the leadership of Asiwaju Tinubu, we have sadly produced an irritating political reality whereby the North-Central region is marginalised. I fear that at the rate we are going, with all the lowly rating of former President Buhari, if care is not taken, he may turn out to be more progressive.”
He stated that his calls for reforms in the APC and that the President must fulfil his campaign promises were responsible for the belief that he was against the party.
Lukman added that some cabals should not be allowed to take over the activities and operations of the APC in order to kill internal competition because killing internal competition could lead to a prevalence of manipulation, vote buying and other criminal activities.
He said: “We are not and we will never abandon the campaign for democracy in Nigeria. Whatever is responsible for the current orientation can be surmounted and should be conquered. We will not degrade ourselves to becoming antagonists of our party and President Tinubu.
“We are confident that our party is blessed with leaders who are capable of initiating processes of reform to return our party to its founding vision of becoming a progressive party. We are also confident that President Tinubu is a committed Democrat and truly a progressive politician. We were never wrong in our estimation that out of all the 23 leaders who aspired to become our Presidential candidates for the 2023 general elections, he was best qualified.
“Therefore, as party members and leaders we must continue to engage him to live up to all the promises we made to Nigerians since 2015. We must work hard and make all the necessary sacrifices to ensure that both President Tinubu and the APC succeed in moving Nigerian democracy forward. Moving Nigerian democracy forward is about promoting political competition in the country.
“A situation whereby a few people have taken over our party, APC, and are doing everything possible to block internal competition within the party is unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue. This was, and still is, the problem of PDP. It was one of the fundamental issues APC promised to change in 2015, which won the support of Nigerians.
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“As Nigerian citizens committed to democracy, we must go back to the drawing board and begin the campaign to reform our political parties in Nigeria to guarantee internal political competition. It is only when internal political competition is achieved within political parties that wider national competition can be achieved. Once we fail to guarantee internal competition within parties, the current reality of excessive manipulation, through the rigging of elections, vote buying, and other criminality would continue.”
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