Salihu Lukman, the Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum, has written to governors to express his opposition to the party’s national convention being postponed.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Chairman, Governor Mai Buni, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, APC leader Bola Tinubu, and other All Progressives Congress chieftains were all copied on the memo to the PGF Chairman, Atiku Bagudu.
The DG’s communication, seen on Friday, referred the Governor of Kebbi to his open letter titled ‘Plausibility of February 2022 APC Convention’, which he wrote on January 3.
Lukman told the leaders that the party’s survival is at stake, noting that he highlighted reasons why the convention should not be shifted.
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Any attempt to continue to consider a postponement, according to the chieftain, is gambling with APC’s future.
He charged them to take decisive action to ensure that the CECPC, led by Yobe, faithfully implements all agreed-upon decisions.
According to Lukman, the public perception of Buni’s “reluctance” to hold the convention on February 5, 2022, is due to the Governors’ desire to maintain control of the party.
“Some members of the CECPC claim to be only shadow Caretakers, claiming that the real Caretakers are Governors. When things go wrong in the party, the Governors, particularly the Forum’s leadership, will suffer political consequences.
“What’s more concerning is the fact that we would have all succeeded, both leaders and members, in undermining President Muhammadu Buhari’s political credentials.”
“APC leaders should consider the consequences of squandering the party’s electoral prospects in 2023, such that, in addition to losing the Federal Government, self-incriminating legal challenges are filed against the party to weaken it simply because of HE Buni and Secretary, John James Akpan Udoedehe’s actions or inactions.”
“According to some media reports, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu’s Reconciliation Committee’s work will determine whether the Convention will take place in February or not.
“Sen. Adamu has stated that by the end of January 2022, they will have completed their work and reconciled those who can be reconciled.” It should be stated that there will always be leadership conflicts as long as the party exists.”
Anyone who suggests that reconciliation should determine whether the February Convention will take place or not, according to Lukman, is simply trying to prevent it from taking place.
“Given all the warning signs about the CECPC’s potential mobility,” he said, “it is imperative that we take steps to protect Governors, Forum, your leadership, and, more importantly, to prevent any attempt to sabotage President Buhari and party leaders.”
“Based on objective assessments of reales of poor management of the party under the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee (NWC), President Buhari, the majority of Governors, and party leaders supported both the dissolution of the NWC and the emergence of the CECPC.”
“As Chairman of the Forum, you had to undertake extremely difficult internal initiatives to bring Governors and party leaders together. Based on your leadership ability to ensure that all Governors are united to support the work of the CECPC, you were able to earn the trust of President Buhari and party leaders.”
Buni and Udoedehe appear to be taking the Forum’s support for granted, according to Lukman, to the point of working to sabotage the APC convention’s decision to be held based on the Forum’s recommendations.
“This is a very dangerous trend,” says the author. Some theories suggest that HE Buni’s ambition to manipulate his emergence as the party’s substantive National Chairman is one of the reasons for this. In an ideal world, there should be no problem with this if he can meet the legal requirements.
“However, if this is true, the assumption that he will provide neutral leadership, which is required to ensure a level playing field, has been eroded.”
“Should it be confirmed that HE Buni is aspiring to be the substantive National Chairman, basic logic dictates that he be replaced as Chairman of the CECPC immediately.” This is bolstered by the fact that, as a serving Governor, he is ineligible to seek any position that the law only allows him to hold temporarily,” Lukman explained.
If the convention is to take place on February 5, 2022, a letter detailing the details, including the agenda and location, should be sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by January 15, 2022, according to Lukman.
If there are problems, he says, the party leadership should bring them to the attention of superior organs so that an emergency meeting can be called to address them quickly.
If the CECPC fails to do so, Buni, Udoedehe, and the entire committee “should take the path of honor and honorably resign,” according to the DG.
“Given the experiences of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC and now the HE Buni-led CECPC, there is a clear issue of political leadership recruitment challenges, which, if not addressed, will continue to erode the country’s capacity to produce competent political leaders.”
“The APC, as a party envisioned to lead the country’s political transformation, can only produce the same results if it continues down this path of blind loyalty.” As we approach 2023, immediate action is required to ensure our party’s electoral survival.
“Continuing to freeze the party’s activities and expecting the CECPC, led by HE Buni, to discharge the responsibility of providing leadership to the party beyond February 5, 2022 is simply suicidal,” the letter stated.