May 22, 2024

Lukman, APC chieftain to party: We’ve dashed hopes of Nigerians


By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA—Former National Vice Chairman, Northwest, of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Salihu Lukman, has slammed his party for dashing the hopes of Nigerians in the last nine years.

Restating his membership of the APC, Lukman in a statement yesterday, said the worst part of the situation was that “we have elected governments, virtually at all levels performing worse than military rulers.”

He said 25 years after the advent of democracy in 1999, the condition of Nigerians was unarguably worse, while unemployment and poverty indices had increased.

He said: “Poor management of national resources has continued so much so that crisis of insecurity and threat to human lives is the new normal.

“Worse part of it is that we have elected governments, virtually at all levels performing worse than military rulers. Although theories of democracy and politics have unquestionably proven that elected leaders will be more accountable, twenty-five years of democratic rule in Nigeria is yet to produce leaders that are predisposed to accommodating the interests of citizens. ‘’Instead, we keep moving almost in opposite direction to whatever could be estimated as the interest of Nigerians, no matter how narrowly defined.

‘’Is it that Nigeria’s democracy is yet to open the expected opportunity? Or is it that majority of Nigerians are unable to ‘positively grab’ the opportunity, which democracy presents? What is the opportunity, which democracy presents?

*These are fundamental questions which we must interrogate to be able to come to terms with our Nigerian reality and perhaps develop creative initiatives on how to exercise the freedoms that come with democracy, based on which the opportunities it presents can be ‘positively grabbed in order to achieve the desired effect of resolving our national challenges.

“First, while interrogating this issue, I want to affirm my membership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and recognize that the last nine years disappointingly dashed the expectations of Nigerians.

“I make this admission as someone who is committed to progressive politics, based on the conviction that the first thing that qualifies anyone to be a progressive is the capacity to recognize challenges based on correct assessment of realities.

‘’Correct assessment of reality is about honest criticisms and taking responsibility. It is not about rationalizing choices or denial of challenges and realities.’’

Lukman said being a party founded with the vision of becoming a progressive party, APC had crashed below whatever a political party represents, let alone being progressive.

“As it is today, its leadership doesn’t obey its own constitution, it doesn’t hold meetings and it is accountable to no one. Since 2015, when the party was elected as a ruling party, with former President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated as President of the Federal Republic, the manifesto of the party has been virtually abandoned and leaders of the party have little or no say in the management of governments it produced at all levels.

‘’Processes of appointments into government and policy decisions have been made prerogative of the President at national level and governors at state levels. As it was under military rule when citizens were reduced to distant observers, under the APC, party leaders and members have also become distant observers.”