The Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukeman, on Sunday, said the All Progressives Congress now has sufficient time within which to strengthen its internal
He urged the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, to seize the moment by using the six months extension it just received from the National Executive Committee to undertake this task.
Lukman said this in a statement made available to newsmen, in Abuja titled, “Seductiveness of Conventional Politics and the Challenges facing APC”.
The PGF DG said, “The conventional approach in Nigeria is that individual politicians aspiring for political offices recruit party members who are their loyalists.
“Party leaders at different levels emerge from the members who are loyal to the politician, who will in turn become the candidate of the party for election.
“Being in control of the structures of the party, the politician, who is the candidate of the party and eventually elected representative or leader of the party will be responsible for funding the party, as well as party administration, including recruitment of party personnel.”
He stressed that with the six months extension granted by NEC, the Buni-led caretaker committee now has ample opportunity to properly reposition the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Lukeman said, “Electing party leaders in the same year when candidates for general elections are to emerge only re-enforce the desperation of aspiring politicians to control structures of the party.
“With all the rebuilding process expected to end in June 2021, it then means that APC can have almost two years before the 2023 general elections to negotiate landmark political challenges and possibly produce some internal consensus, which should be able to throw up credible candidates for the 2023 general elections at all levels.”
He noted that the founding fathers of the APC drawn from the four legacy political parties namely: Action Congress of Nigeria, Congress for Progressive Change, the All Progressives Grand Alliance and later the new Peoples Democratic Party, made conscious efforts to depart from the conventional Nigerian politics while negotiating the merger in 2013.
He, however, expressed regret that the old ways of doing things crept into the system when the new party decided to hold congresses to elect party leaders at all levels.
The PGF DG said, “The various Congress Committees for Wards, Local Governments and States encountered problems of reconciling membership records, which were largely manipulated by aspiring candidates for the 2015 general elections positioning themselves to ensure control of party structures.
“A clear indication that conventional politics of aspiring candidates taking over control of party structures was already rearing its stubborn face in the young APC.”
This, he said, created many disputes during Ward Congresses across the country, which was partly responsible for the decision to conduct the Local Government and State Congresses based on the delegate system since Ward leaders have already emerged and its attendant consequences which the party was still grappling with.