Those frustrating NEC meeting bent on destroying APC ― Lukman, DG, PGF
• Says crisis affecting governance at all levels
Ahead of the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) meeting purportedly scheduled for Thursday by a faction of the party led by Honourable Victor Giadom, Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Salihu Lukman, has pleaded that the meeting of the statutory organ of the party is allowed to hold.
Findings revealed that the faction led by the National vice chairman South-South, Honourable Hillard Eta, has kicked against the move to hold the NEC meeting.
Addressing newsmen, on Tuesday, in Abuja, Honourable Eta who claimed to be holding the position of acting national chairman in the absence of deputy national chairman, South, Senator Isiaka Ajimobi said Honourable Giadom has ceased to be a national officer of the APC.
But Lukman in a statement he issued to newsmen, on Wednesday, cautioned that an emergency meeting of the NEC should not be frustrated by what he called legal blockades.
The DG of the Forum of APC governors noted that only a meeting of the statutory organ higher than the National Working Committee could resolve the leadership crisis rocking the ruling party.
He further warned that the party could not remain rudderless for too long ahead of the Edo and Ondo State governorship elections.
He said: “We have party leaders who claimed to be democrats but take every decision in breach of our party’s constitution. Instead of allowing us to express ourselves by allowing organs of our party to function, they impose their position by blocking meetings of our organs.
“These leaders believe that party supremacy should be about blind loyalty to them. To ensure that is the case they stopped calling meetings of almost all our party’s organs. And anyone who dares challenge them is branded as someone with either Presidential ambition for 2023 or is supporting someone with that ambition.
“As a result, we end up messing up something as basic as the selection of candidates for election. It is either, we create internal disputes that end up in our courts or we field candidates that our opponents challenge their qualification to emerge as candidates in courts.
“Often, it is fellow party members that go as far as challenging the elections of fellow party members in courts. In virtually all cases, the ruling of the courts knocked our candidates out of the contests, which on two occasions were sadly after our candidates were returned as winners of elections. And any attempt to ask question or demand answers get rebuffed and labelled as ambition related, which one of our respected leaders coined as ‘old ambition-virus.’ Party members and leaders are divided into pro and anti-groupings. Those who unfortunately fall in the anti-category are condemned and therefore gets disqualified from any internal party contests.”
Lukman who maintained that the proposed NEC enjoyed the blessings of the acknowledged leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari lamented that the crisis in the ruling party was already constituting distraction to governance, at all levels.
“Not only that members get more and more frustrated, but also that Nigerians become more and more disappointed and some of our leaders with a mandate to govern the country are daily being distracted. Instead of facing the business of government and strengthening the capacity of APC governments at federal and states levels to deliver on their campaign promises, it is a case of leadership conflicts all over the place. Rather than have party leadership making efforts to resolve these conflicts, they become the major disputants and litigants. If the dispute turns out to be between these party leaders and elected functionaries of government, once the circle of the election come, these functionaries should be ready to be thrown out no matter their records in government. Professors and all manner of clownish supporters will be recruited to defend and present actions of these party leaders as decisions of party structures and therefore reflective of the supremacy of the party.
“The days ahead will confirm whether we have party leaders or blacklegs. All committed party members and leaders should rally behind President Buhari in support of the scheduled NEC to hold so that we are able to reset the APC back to its 2013 orientation of inclusive and participatory politics. To achieve that, the public debate should be about proposals to ensure that the NEC succeed rather than attempting to throw up legal blockades!”