BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – Disturbed by what he described as avoidable loses suffered by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections, the Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, says the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, must accept responsibility for the party’s dwindling fortunes across the country.
He said it is worrying that under Oshiomhole’s chairmanship, the APC has deteriorated with leadership animosities and members discontentments now defining happenings within its ranks.
Insinuating that the party’s administration seems to be drifting towards a private estate arrangement, Lukman told Comrade Oshiomhole that as a loyal party member, it is difficult “reconciling the absence of meetings of superior organs given all the challenges the party is going through, warranting the suspension of three serving governors (two of them now senators) and two members of NWC.”
In a four-page letter entitled: “APC: Appeal for Reconciliation”, Lukman lamented APC’s loss of Bauchi, Zamfara and some states in the 2019 polls, and further expressed fears that the trend may continue in the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa gubernatorial elections if drastic measures are not put in place to address obvious disaffection among party members.
Lukman, who had earlier tackled Oshiomhole on July 19, 2019, said: “My distant observation is that there is hardly any difference between your approach in managing the party and the way Chief (John Odigie) Oyegun had managed it during his tenure. Instead, things have really got worse and painfully, it would appear, you are in denial of this reality.
“Kindly recall that sometime in June this year, I sent what I called a private memo on the issue of reported disciplinary actions against Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State by the NWC.
“Of course, the memo noted that before the 2019 elections, the NWC had similarly suspended former Governors Rochas Okorocha and lbikunle Amosun of Imo and Ogun states respectively. Between June and now, Sen. Lawal Shuaibu, APC Deputy National Chairman, North and Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, APC Vice National Chairman, North West had also been similarly suspended.”
According to him, “It will appear that the leadership problems facing the party are getting deeper and in the circumstances the business of building the party will be sacrificed.
“We had challenges that deprived our party the opportunity to contest 2019 election in Rivers State, stripped our party of electoral victory in Zamfara State, engendered highest level of leadership animosities in Imo, Ogun, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kano, Ondo, Oyo, etc.
“Today, with Kogi and Bayelsa elections approaching, similar leadership animosities are defining political life of the party in those states.”
Stretching his position further, the Director General stated that; “Since emerging as the national chairman of our party, I have had cause to review decisions and actions you had taken as the National Chairman and often I have difficulty reconciling many of the decisions and actions you took with the leadership standards you upheld.
“It is a painful reality that we have found ourselves in situation of near stalemate in many states under your leadership. Embarrassingly, our leaders, including your very self, appear to be stubbornly inconsiderate of other options of resolving these challenges.
“If the electoral loss of Oyo, Imo, Zamfara, Adamawa and Bauchi is not a wakeup call to the dangers that lie ahead, what could have been. Is it that our leaders are indifferent to the possible return of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)?”
Lukman, who is full of regrets that Comrade Oshiomhole seems to have diluted his pro-people activism over the years, said; “In all my years of association with you, I never imagine that one day you will be so comfortable as to be indifferent to challenges that could threaten our national democratic development.”
He therefore maintained that there is an urgent need for reconciliation and refocusing of the APC, its leaders and members at all levels in order to arrest the continuous drift of the governing party towards disintegration nationwide.