News

May 21, 2024

We’ve dashed expectations of Nigerians in last 9 years, APC chieftain laments

APC

By Omeiza Ajayi

ABUJA: A former National Vice Chairman, Northwest, of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Salihu Moh. 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 on Tuesday said the worst part of the situation is 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 welfare condition of Nigerians is unarguably worse, while unemployment and poverty indices have 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 comes 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”, he added.

Lukman said being a party founded with the vision of becoming a progressive party, it has crashed below whatever a political party represents, not to talk of 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. Like under military rule when citizens were reduced to distant observers, under the APC, party leaders and members have also become distant observers.

“Because leaders of the APC are not obeying the rules of the party, we have produced several electoral disasters whereby the courts have to intervene to nullify electoral victories of the party. These are issues bordering on culture of impunity in the process of candidates selection.

“The emergence of President Tinubu as the Presidential candidate of the APC for the 2023 election rekindled the hope of many party leaders and members about the possibility of returning the APC to its founding vision and engendering progressive governance in the country.

“After one year in office, the government of President Asiwaju Tinubu has turned out to be another experience replicating reality of illusive politics, which has reduced citizens, party leaders and members to being distant observers.

“Painfully, against every expectation that President Tinubu will reignite the Lagos success story at national level, his government is more and more creating doubts in the minds of Nigerians about the prospect of resolving the country’s challenges with incidences of policy missteps and reversals.

“As a result, crisis of insecurity has remained. Problems of inflation, unemployment and poverty are on the increase. Politically, the APC has continued to follow the track of being disrespectful to its own rules so much so that we have shamelessly produced a serving Governor who is using his immunity to block law enforcement officials from undertaking their responsibility to investigate corruption allegations against his predecessor. The bigger disappointment is the troubling reality whereby political mercenaries who fought against President Asiwaju Tinubu’s election during the 2023 elections are now his strongest allies with free access and party loyalists who campaigned and stood by him have been denied access and are being held in contempt”, he stated.