Dr Salihu Lukman, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called for the sanctioning of party leaders working to undermine the national convention slated for Feb. 26.Lukman, immediate past Director-General of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), an umbrella body of serving governors elected on the platform of the APC, made the call in a statement on Sunday, in Abuja.
According to him, the campaign to return the party to its founding vision, must have strong expression and resonance at its forthcoming national convention, where new national executives are expected to be elected to manage the party’s affairs.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the party’s affairs were presently being managed by the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).“Any leader, therefore working to undermine the national convention should be sanctioned,” Lukman stated.He noted that the current drift within the party was systematically destroying it and must be arrested before the situation got worst.Lukman added that members of the party, needed to appeal to their leaders at all levels, to return the APC to its founding vision, which encouraged internal debates and negotiations, based on which agreements were reached and respected.
He further noted that APC being a party of change, encouraged members to be critical and promote internal debates, adding that its leaders should therefore not expect anticipatory obedience from members and Nigerians generally.According to him, the APC must be returned to a party founded on the sacrifices of leaders and members of its legacy parties at the national convention.The former PGF director-general noted that unlike the case of other political parties, the APC was extremely lucky to have a leader in President Muhammadu Buhari, who does not meddle in its affairs.“Sadly, this became the license for party leaders to abuse the trust of both the president and majority of party leaders and members.“Overtime, 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.“
Problems of intolerance to disagreements and criticisms, with some leaders expecting members to be blindly loyal, is becoming a common attribute,” he said.He added that views of party leaders had become dominantly decisions of party organs, even when consultations took place with clear decisions.Lukman further noted that as far as some decisions were not what some few party leaders wanted, they would not be implemented, even if President Buhari was part of the consultations and in agreement with such decisions.According to him, propensity to disrespect decisions and party leaders, including the president, is very high today in the APC.“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 departure from requiring citizens to be blindly loyal to elected leaders.“
It should require that citizens and party members are free to disagree and criticise elected leaders.“In other words, politics of change should produce elected leaders, who should be highly tolerant and where possible,even accommodate disagreements and criticisms as part of the process of decision making,” he said.(NAN)