In a bid to reform the ruling All Progressive Party, a former Vice Chairman of the party, (North-West), Salihu Lukman, has held a meeting with two former National Chairmen of the party, Bisi Akande and Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja.
Lukman said in a statement made available to journalists following the meeting on Thursday that they discussed the pressing need for reforms as well as some of the troubling patterns that have afflicted the ruling party under each administration.
The party chieftain remarked that hearing Oshiomhole and Akande’s thoughts on the party’s growth and what needs to be done to bring it back to its original goals was a privilege.
He said, “We discussed recent developments in APC, including an initiative to produce the publication on ‘APC and Transition Politics.’ The two leaders welcomed the initiative and expressed concern about recent experiences that eroded the democratic space within the party. In particular, both leaders acknowledged the leadership role of President Bola Tinubu in resisting an attempt by some conservative leaders within the party to impose a consensus Presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
“Notably, they both recalled how many leaders of the APC had to rise against a determined effort by fellow party leaders to undermine the APC’s electoral victory during the 2023 elections.”
The Kaduna politician said that the two leaders agreed to bring back the APC to its original goal of being a progressive party, and praised the attempt to memorialize their experiences.
“It is not going to be an easy battle and would require strong commitment and capacity to stubbornly continue to campaign for the restoration of democratic values within the APC. Comrade Adams was emphatic that progressive leaders within the APC must encourage disagreements as the basis for nurturing the growth and development of both the party and Nigeria’s democracy.
“He recalled some of the disagreements we had when he was National Chairman and how my ability to express my disagreement with his positions had defined our relationship since our time in the National Union of Textiles from the early 1990s.
“My hope is to provoke deeper internal debate within the APC about developing the APC to achieve its founding vision. The engagement will continue. APC and Transition Politics will be produced and hopefully, they will be used to facilitate deeper internal debate within the APC and the future of Nigerian democracy. One of the goals of that deeper internal debate will be about transforming the APC to go beyond being just an electoral vehicle, limited to only producing candidates for elections.
“To become a progressive political party is about being organically connected with Nigerians based on which both the party and governments it produces will be both responsive and representative of the wider interests of Nigerians,” he noted.