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APC National Chair: Ganduje’s emergence, signal Tinubu not ready to fight corruption, says ex-APC NWC member, Lukman

The immediate past National Vice Chairman, North West of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Moh Lukman, has described the recent emergence of former Kano state governor, Abdulahi Ganduje, as the new National Chairman of the party as an indication that President Bola Tinubu will maintain a deaf ear to the much clamoured fight against corruption.

Recall that Lukman, who was at the forefront of the fight and allegations of corrupt practices in the past APC leadership under former Nassrawa state governor Adamu Abdulahi, threatened legal action against him and the former National Secretary Iyiola Omisore, and the battle continued until the duo of Adamu and Omisore were forced to resign from their positions.

The former Director General of the APC Governors Forum did not, however, rest from his anti-corruption stand, as he immediately resigned from his NWC position upon confirmation of reports that President Tinubu had endorsed Ganduje as Adamu’s replacement.

Lukman, in an open letter to the president on Monday, regretted that the emergence of Ganduje as National Chairman of the APC has sent a disturbing signal that the president is not committed to fighting corruption.

The former North West vice chairman of APC, whose office has remained vacant since his resignation, further accused the president of dashing the hopes and expectations of Nigerians who thought that his emergence and final realization of his lifelong presidential ambition would bring the desired change in governance in the country, adding that his recent ministerial nominations were a further indication that Nigerians are in for another dashed hope.

The APC stakeholder The APC stakeholder noted, “Because I have resigned my position as a member of the APC National Working Committee NWC, I don’t want to make any claim of having access to you in whatever form.

“Even as an NWC member, it was almost impossible to access you after winning the election. Now, given that I resigned because I disagreed with your decision to nominate Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to emerge as the National Chairman of APC, I don’t expect you to be amenable to meeting a ‘protestant’ like me”, he declared.

He warned that the current dangers in the APC must be arrested, warning that they could lead to a crisis that may irreversibly destroy the APC’s electoral viability as a party is averted.

Lukman maintained that though he lacks the powers to question the president’s decisions and authority, Tinubu has initiated several policies and decisions that are very disturbing to many party members since May 29, 2023, when he assumed office there.

He said, “To be honest, making Dr. Ganduje the national chairman of APC is the first disturbing signal. Many party members are yet to recover from that shock. With all the uncleared corruption allegations against Dr. Ganduje, you opted to nominate him to become the National Chairman of the party, even when Article 31.5(i) of the Constitution of the APC clearly gave the Nasarawa State Executive Committee the power to nominate who should replace Sen. Abdullahi Adamu. Given that Sen. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura is from Nasarawa State, and has been very loyal to you, it was scandalous that you will opt for Dr. Ganduje with all the baggage of corruption allegations against him.

“Recall that before the March 2022 APC National Convention, Sen. Al-Makura aspired to become APC National Chairman, and President Buhari was influenced to nominate Sen. Adamu over Sen. Al-Makura partly because he was alleged to be loyal to you. It defies every logical reasoning that you will ignore the provision of Article 31.5(i) to nominate Dr. Ganduje, even when the same provision of the constitution was used to nominate Sen. Basiru Ajibola from Osun State as the replacement of Sen. Iyiola Omisore.

“The emergence of Dr. Ganduje as National Chairman of the APC sends a disturbing signal of being weakly committed to fighting corruption. This is very troubling and is neither representative of the interests of APC members nor of the wider interests of Nigerians. If our democracy is to develop to the point of being capacitated to resolve our national challenges, the commitment of our leaders to fighting corruption must never be in doubt.

“That our leaders in APC accepted the emergence of Dr. Ganduje as APC National Chairman without much resistance produces the second disturbing signal. This is because the absence of resistance was more a reflection of fear, which is the new reality in APC. Once leaders and members of APC continue to feel threatened that when they express opposition against your decision, we may end up with the bigger danger of creating a police state. This may not arise from any conscious decision coming from you but will be produced from the circumstances of having to rationalize or enforce your decisions, which may not be acceptable to party members and citizens. In fact, the first casualties of such a reality will be fellow party members.

“Largely because of the atmosphere of fear surrounding the emergence of Dr. Ganduje as National Chairman, the wider debate of using the vacancies created to respond to the challenge of inclusivity given that we won the 2023 election with a Muslim-Muslim ticket was lost. Rather than even attempting to respond to that challenge and demonstrate that we truly only invoked the Muslim-Muslim ticket as an electoral strategy, in a very insensitive manner, we imposed another Muslim-Muslim scenario in the party with the National Chairman and National Secretary both Muslims. And we want to claim we are a progressive party? What is the brand of our progressive politics? Certainly not the one that Nigerians expect, which endears us to citizens on account of which Nigerians gave us the mandate to manage the affairs of government since 2015.

“The third disturbing signal is the quality of your appointees. Sincerely, Your Excellency, throughout the 2023 electoral campaigns, one of the strong campaign points was that you know how to find talents. When it took you more than eight weeks to nominate your ministers, the belief was that you were taking your time to identify indisputably proficient people. With due respect to all those you nominated, many party members and, by extension, Nigerians were disappointed. It is clear to any discerning mind that political consideration eclipsed any other factor. Definitely, no argument about talent can be sustained. As it is, both as party members and as Nigerians, our expectations from your government have crashed.

“This leads us to the fourth disturbing signal, which is about the management of the policy process. When, in your inaugural address, you declared that petroleum subsidies were gone, it gave many of us confidence that you had assumed office and were ready to take all the hard decisions and initiate measures for accelerated national development. Of course, no one expected that the process of accelerated development would produce immediate results, but many of us expected that the details of initiatives would be clear and not reduced to propaganda. As things are, Nigerians are still waiting to know what the agenda of the government is with respect to managing the downstream oil sector beyond saving the amount of money that used to be expended for subsidy payments.

“The second issue related to the management of policy initiatives is the exchange rate of the naira. Some of us expect that decisions around exchange rates will be an integral part of the broader economic policy of the government. Now, it would appear that an isolated decision has been taken to float the naira without any clear economic policy. The consequence is that the naira is on a downward swing. Combined with the rising cost of transport as a result of the withdrawal of subsidies, the inflationary pressure on the economy is very high. As a result, living conditions are getting worse. At this rate, poverty incidence will be terribly high, beyond any rational expectations.

“Mr. President, you need to urgently address these disturbing signals coming early in your tenure. No one should deceive you into believing that party members and leaders, and by extension, Nigerians, are not worried about all these disturbing signals. It will be a disservice to your leadership and to our people if we don’t bring these to your attention. You need to act fast to start correcting these disturbing signals before they become defining attributes of your administration and, by extension, our party. Either you correct them, or we sign off on any prospect of winning any future election”, he declared.

Techrectory.

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