‘The forthcoming Elective National Convention of Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC must review some national challenges which should form part of the basis for the party’s 2023 General Election Campaign.
The Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, PGF Mr.
Salihu Lukman who said this in an Open Letter to APC Leaders added that the APC National Convention should not just be about electing the party’s National Working Committee members.
The PGF DG stressed the need for frequent meeting of party organs and robust debates by party leaders to come up with an agenda for the party and to resolve issues dividing members in different states.
“No one should imagine that agendas set in 2014 or 2019 are sufficient to respond to contemporary challenges, which post 2023 governance will be expected to respond to.
If anything, it may also be important to emphasise the fact that to respond to contemporary challenges facing the country would require massive investment in human capital development in the country.
This will call for a deliberate and aggressive policy to mobilise large scale public investment to rebuild public schools at all levels.
As a party, we must come up with practically convincing answers, which should form the basis of public support by Nigerians to guarantee victory in 2023 elections.
“With the suspension of meetings of organs of the party, notably NEC and National Caucus, capacity of leaders of the party and members to get the CECPC (Caretaker Committee) to be accountable and take all the needed guidance from party leaders is weakened.
This is partly responsible for the momentary anger by APC representatives in the National Assembly following the conclusion of Wards, Local Governments and States’ Congresses who felt shortchanged allegedly by Governors on account of which they inserted the clause on compulsory Direct Primary on all political parties in the amended Electoral Act.
Again, ordinarily, if organs of the party are meeting, especially NEC and National Caucus, aggrieved members would have used the platforms of these organs to contest issues and seek redress.
The attempt to impose Direct Primary on all political parties by aggrieved APC representatives in the National Assembly was borne out of desperation to seek redress of perceived act of injustice by the CECPC,” he said.
Speaking on the February 2023 month that has been selected as the time for the Convention to hold, Mr.
Lukman advised the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to make public the particular date for the Convention as well as details of the Convention plan such as Committees, their membership and terms of reference.
He noted that lack of information about the Convention is leading to wide speculation that the long overdue Convention may not hold in February.
The PGF DG advised the Caretaker Committee not to tow the line of postponing the Convention to the same day as the 2023 Presidential Primary election as proposed by a party chieftain, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
He highlighted some negative scenarios that may occur if the National Convention is postponed.
“Anyone campaigning for ‘presidential primary and election of National Working Committee members’ hold ‘on the same day and venue’ simply want a situation whereby any possible dispute around presidential primary will submerge the emergence of leaders (NWC members) of the party.
“This leads to the second ugly scenario being setup by those campaigning for the postponement of the Convention, which is the possibility that all candidates of the party from all the 36 states of the country to be submitted to INEC by the same NWC members whose elections may be disputed would be in jeopardy and subject of litigation.
Once that is the case, we would have succeeded in making the 2019 Zamfara electoral disaster a national phenomenon in 2023.
Is that what the CECPC members under the leadership of His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni want to subject the party to?” he said.
Lukman further stressed the need for all APC leaders to be united in supporting a candidate in 2023 General Election as there is no one political leader in the country that enjoys convincing mass support of any region of the country.
APC National Convention must set agenda for 2023 campaigns – PGF DG