Salihu Moh Lukman, the National Vice Chairman for the North West region of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has called attempts by some party stakeholders to elect Abdullahi Ganduje, the former governor of Kano state, as the party’s national chairman, “grossly insensitive” and “politically suicidal.”
Lukman noted this in a statement on Thursday. According to him, there have been numerous rumours about the party’s future when Senators Abdullahi Adamu and Iyiola Omisore resigned from their positions as national chairman and national secretary, respectively.
He noted that most of the speculations if not all, are driven by interests to control the affairs of the party. He added that the move would amount to taking members for granted.
The National Vice Chairman stressed that by the zoning formula of the party, the office was zoned to the North Central which was why the region was schemed out from the leadership positions in the 10th National Assembly.
He noted that so far, only the President and Governors blocs are active in the negotiations to produce and engage leaders of APC.
Lukman said, “Regrettably, however, many of the speculations do not share the commitment to either restore constitutional order in the party or return the party to its founding vision of returning to the path of progressive politics. In fact, if anything, some of the speculations, if true, will reduce to nonsense the decision to have a change of leadership, which means that no lessons have been learnt from all the circumstances of the last few years since the emergence of APC as a political party”.
“Already, part of the speculations emerging from the Governor’s bloc is that Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is being considered to succeed Senator Abdullahi Adamu. If this is true, it only suggests insensitivity and taking members of the party for granted. This is without prejudice to the person of Dr Ganduje.
“This is because such a choice will completely distort the zoning arrangement that informed the present configuration of the leadership of the National Assembly. With the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Deputy Senate President coming from North West and North Central shut out of consideration, to propose the party’s National Chairman move to North West from North Central will be unjust and almost political suicide.
“We must caution our Governors that since the emergence of APC, Governors have served almost as the conscience of the party. Any consideration for such an insensitive and unjust consideration of Dr Ganduje to become the National Chairman of APC must be discarded.
“If anything, the position of National Chairman of the APC must be retained in North Central. Part of the challenge of managing the current transition within the party is getting the NWC to properly take the driving seat in managing and facilitating negotiations to produce and engage leaders of the party. The NWC must sit up and guide the unfolding negotiations. No single power bloc should be allowed to appropriate the process.
“This is where the intervention of the President, being the leader of the party would be required to moderate the excessive conduct of any power bloc, especially when such conduct risks further damaging the prospect of returning the APC to its founding vision. At these early stages of President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s leadership of the party, he needs to make a strong intervention to guide the process of restoring constitutional order and returning the APC to its founding vision of progressive politics. Progressive politics must be about inclusion and justice and not some blind and insensitive considerations”, he added.
“First, restoring constitutional order in APC is basically about complying with extant provisions of the party’s constitution. A situation whereby the National Chairman usurped the powers of the National Working Committee NWC and all organs of the party is unacceptable. All organs of the party, namely, National Advisory Council NAC, National Caucus, National Executive Committee NEC, etc. must be allowed to function in accordance with provisions of the party’s constitution. The irresponsible culture of asking organs of the party to donate their powers to the NWC, which basically empowers the National Chairman to convert all the resources of the party to personal use must end.
“Inability to allow organs to function will block any attempt to return the party to its founding vision of becoming a progressive party. Being a progressive party is about ensuring that we can produce a dynamic, action-oriented party that can produce governments that can improve the lives of Nigerians. It is about goal-setting and developing strategies to achieve them. with a clear vision. This is easier said than done. In our context in Nigeria, this is reduced to claims and narrowed to winning elections. Certainly, winning elections is primarily the required precondition to improve the lives of citizens. Being a progressive party will mean that we are able to ensure that organs of the party develop the capacity to hold elected and appointed officials accountable”, he added.