The Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Salihu Lukman, has called on leaders of the party to be committed and work hard to protect the party’s electoral viability.
Lukeman, who noted that the All Progressive party is its own most considerable opposition in the coming general elections, emphasized that the party’s victory is in the hands of its leaders.
According to him, “An inconvenient reality, which every APC leader and member, committed and working to protect the electoral viability of the party, should be worried about is that the strongest opponent of the APC is within the APC.
“The truth is, other parties, especially the PDP, are shadow opposition whose electoral prospects are primarily dependent on the outcome of internal contests in the APC, mainly because of the reckless and undisciplined conducts of some APC leaders.
“If anything, the lesson from the 2019 elections, which every APC leader and the member should be reminded is that APC was defeated in Rivers, Zamfara, Bauchi, Adamawa, Oyo and many other places by aggrieved APC leaders who worked against candidates or leaders of the party as a result of internal disagreements around candidate selections for Governorship of these states. Such internal disagreement almost cost the party the loss of Imo State until the Supreme Court confirmed the victory of the APC. In Ogun, it was a traumatic victory. Kano State Governorship election certainly had its baggage of painful experiences. Lagos State was a shocking narrow victory, no thanks to avoidable challenges. Rambo political contest led to the loss of Edo State in the 2020 Governorship election”, he stated.
“How the party can manage the process of the internal contest is now the challenge. The biggest problem in politics, which compromises both leaders and members and weakens the capacity to provide generic support to candidates irrespective of who emerges, is leaders’ ambitions for elective and appointive positions.
“Most times, leaders and members relate with challenges based on estimation of potentials to win support to access elective and appointive positions. Hardly do leaders and members take initiatives to resolve challenges without some associated expectations, which could be linked to opportunities to access elective and appointive positions”, Lukman stated.
Lukman further stated that since the ruling party has become the go-to party in Nigerian politics, there is a need to regulate party leaders’ conduct. “Inability to develop the capacity to regulate party leaders’ conduct will be dangerous to the vision of developing the APC as a truly progressive party. As much as it is a welcome development that the party is winning new members, there must be corresponding effort to regulate the conduct of party leaders, based on which efforts are made to provide new orientation to all party leaders, especially the newcomers”, added.