Director-General of the forum of governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Mohammed Lukman, has said the APC will not zone its presidential ticket for the 2023 general elections.
Speaking with newsmen on Monday, Lukman argued that foreclosing individuals from seeking elective offices because of their geo-political zone was inimical to the growth of democracy.
The DG of the Progressives Governors Forum who insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari has no interest in running the party national secretariat and its statutory organs said it was left for presidential hopefuls to galvanise support across geopolitical zones to achieve their dream.
He said: “Everybody could see that the place is open whether you call it with reference to 2023 or reference to any election, it’s about the fact that the spirit of political contest in the party is now very high. It means that if you want to negotiate as a good negotiator if you want to canvass as a good canvasser for a specific interest, the party is up to you.
“The pertinent point to make here is that nobody can say President Buhari has decided or there is a decision on the party, this is where it would go. That is why in the whole speculation out there in the public, you will see that there are so many names that are being put in the public space which means that in 2023 there would be a contest in APC.
“And if you’re a politician, what are you looking for, is it not contest? So you go to where you know that if you play your card very well, there is a 50-50 chance that you can get what you want, when you want it and where you want it. That is the message now which the President has nurtured and popularized in the APC. By extension, it serves a death knell that marks the end of foreclosure in political contests in Nigerian politics. What we are saying is that foreclosure in our political contests is dead.”
Reacting to the Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi’s defection from the Peoples Democratic Party to the ruling party, Lukman accused the national leadership of the main opposition party of negligence to have allowed the alleged cry of injustice against the South-East to gain currency.
“They cannot run away from the fact that the coming of Umahi into APC is the beginning of an electoral tsunami for our party in the South-East. The PDP had Umahi as their governor, why should they allow themselves to lose him in such a cheap manner. It’s a pure management issue.”