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By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo 

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Northwest zone and former Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Alhaji Salihu Lukman has said that the Northwest remains a backbone of the APC where they will do everything to win the 2023 election. 

He spoke in an interview with Vanguard during an inaugural meeting of the Publicity Field Operation Committee of the party at the party’s Zonal office in Kaduna on Wednesday. 

When asked if APC is still strong in the Northwest based on the present circumstance, he said ” there are parameters you can check. All the places where election took place,how did APC performed in the North West? To the best of my knowledge, most of the by elections that happened in the Northwest, APC won.”

“I think to that extent, with that barometer you can check to confirm. We may argue that Local Government election is not a good barometer of checking because it is not the standard INEC election, it’s prone to manipulation by the state, but at least you can check in states like Kaduna where the influence of the state is not in the typical way that people….I mean PDP won some Local Governments. In the ward of the Governor, PDP did very well. But overall if you look at those elections, you find out that APC did very well.”

“Now the reality which we must contend, I am from the North West,I don’t run away from that and I’m very proud of it.Anybody who take the people of the Northwest for granted,would do so at his own peril.If you don’t give them what they expect,they will not shy away from withdrawing their support and we are very conscious of that. That’s why we’ve to wake up and ensure that we do our best to earn the support of the people of the Northwest.”

“I think to this moment, on the balance they are very critical  because there are challenges which they expect the government must respond to .To the extent of those challenges, we must wake up and earn the confidence of the people of the Northwest.”

“In terms of political competition, we don’t think our opposition are doing what we are doing. Our opposition are just hoping to capitalize on whatever is our failing, without necessarily earning the confidence and support of the people of the Northwest.So if we lose election in the Northwest, I would say it’s because we didn’t do our job.”

Commenting on  whether the New Nigeria Peoples Party ( NNPP) of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso would pose any threat in the Northwest region, he said ” let me tell you something;there is the appeal of everything that is new.Everything that is new that is not tested, people would love to gravitate toward it.”

“But to what extent is the NNPP new? Kwankwaso is a respected politician,for me he was in APC and I still respect him to this moment,but if you look at his method of mobilization and that is where I have problem with , it would appear everything oppose to APC is welcome.And that is a complete betrayal to the principle that informs his attraction to the red cap.”

“Because he tried to link the red cap with the PRP and Aminu Kano ideology. Go and check almost all the people around Kwankwaso…..and because he is with them NNPP is only existing in the media. It is not existing in the hearts of ordinary citizens  I challenge you..it’s not the same case as NNPP in 2014, 2015.Withiout anybody saying anything, if you come to the Northwest you know APC is on ground. “

He said Kwankwaso did not found NNPC with the right kind of pillars that can carry the weight of political competition, which throw it up into electoral victory. 

“This is the hard truth,but 2023 will confirm that,” he said.

Earlier , Alhaji Salihu Lukman had urged party faithful to get their PVC, saying if they have supporters thar are yet to get the PVC,is as good as not having the support.

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