Alhaji Salihu Lukman, Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) says the All Progressives Congress (APC) is radically different from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in internal democracy.
In a statement on Sunday in Abuja, Lukman said that the PDP leadership was living in self denial of the party’s current challenges.
“It is very easy to dismiss the APC as being the same with the PDP. In truth, however, the APC is radically different from the PDP.
“For instance, while the PDP leadership is still in denial that there are challenges facing the party requiring internal reform, the APC leadership since 2018 in fact, recognised the need for reform.
“It was the recognition for reform that led to the decision to change the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun leadership, which brought in Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s leadership.
“Unlike in the PDP, there was internal debate about whether to change Chief Oyegun’s leadership or not,” he said.
Lukman said that instead of the conventional approach of forcing Odigie-oyegun to resign, which was the practice in PDP, its leadership was democratically changed at a national convention.
The PGF DG further said that with the emergence of Oshiomhole’s leadership in the APC, there was high expectation that the process of party building would return.
He noted that frustration of the process led to the June 25, APC National Executive Committee (NEC) decision to dissolve the Oshiomhole’s leadership, specially as it failed to rebuild the party as expected.
Lukman said that with the appointment of Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee, the expectation was that the process of reorganisation and party building starting from membership registration and revalidation would commence.
This, he said, meant recruitment of new members at the same time with revalidation of old members so as to resolve any possible contention about who had left the party or not from its old register.
He said the process of membership registration and revalidation was expected to be followed immediately by processes of leadership formation at all levels.
“From all the internal debates so far, one of the underlying objectives is to resolve the challenge of electing new party leaders in the same year when general elections are to take place,” he said.
He said it was also to resolve the issue of electing party leaders in the same year when candidates for general elections were to emerge.
This, he noted would reinforce the desperation of aspiring politicians to control party structures.
He expressed optimism that the rebuilding process is expected to end in June 2021, the APC would have almost two years before the 2023 general elections to negotiate landmark political challenges and possibly produce some internal consensus.
According to Lukman, this should be able to throw up credible candidate for the 2023 general elections at all levels.
He said the development was unfortunately hardly appreciated by some section of APC leadership because of factors of denials of the problems facing the party, almost similar to the situation in the PDP.
Lukman however, stressed the need for the Buni-led APC caretaker committee to take necessary steps to strengthen the capacity of the party’s national secretariat to implement all its decisions.
“This is largely about taking responsibility and communicating decisions to party members and the public.
“Although, considerable progress has been achieved, it is important to appeal for more consultations, coordination and better communications of initiatives and all the internal reform process.
“Poor consultations, coordination and communication makes party members to be contemptuous of every decision taken, which strengthens the confidence of those opposed to internal party reform.
“The solution to all these lies in the ability of the 13-member Caretaker Committee to work harmoniously with the required professional competence,” Lukman said.
He expressed optimism that the ongoing reform in the APC should be able to guarantee that all negotiations for appointments by governments produced by the party should be mainstreamed as part of the party’s operational activities.