A former Vice Chairman (North West) of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Mallam Salihu Lukman, on Thursday, held a meeting with two former national chairmen of the party, Bisi Akande and Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja, over the need to reform the party.
In a statement made available to journalists after the meeting, Lukman disclosed that they discussed some of the worrisome trends that dogged the ruling party under each administration and the urgent need to introduce reforms.
The APC chieftain noted that it was a privilege listening to Oshiomhole and Akande’s perspectives about development in the APC and what needs to be done to return the party to its founding vision
“We discussed recent developments in APC, including an initiative to produce the publication on ‘APC and Transition Politics.’ The two leaders welcomed the initiative and expressed concern about recent experiences that eroded the democratic space within the party. In particular, both leaders acknowledged the leadership role of President Bola Tinubu in resisting an attempt by some conservative leaders within the party to impose a consensus presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
“Notably, they both recalled how many leaders of the APC had to rise against a determined effort by fellow party leaders to undermine the APC’s electoral victory during the 2023 elections,” he said.
While commending the initiative to document their experiences, the politician stated that the two leaders were unanimous in their decision to return APC to its founding vision of becoming a progressive party.
“It is not going to be an easy battle and would require strong commitment and capacity to stubbornly continue to campaign for the restoration of democratic values within the APC. Comrade Adams was emphatic that progressive leaders within the APC must encourage disagreements as the basis for nurturing the growth and development of both the party and Nigeria’s democracy.
“He recalled some of the disagreement we had when he was National Chairman and how my ability to express my disagreement with his positions had defined our relationship since our time in the National Union of Textiles from the early 1990s.
“My hope is to provoke deeper internal debate within the APC about developing the APC to achieve its founding vision. The engagement will continue. APC and Transition Politics will be produced and hopefully, it will be used to facilitate deeper internal debate within the APC and the future of Nigerian democracy. One of the goals of that deeper internal debate will be about transforming the APC to go beyond being just an electoral vehicle, limited to only producing candidates for elections.
“To become a progressive political party is about being organically connected with Nigerians based on which both the party and governments it produces will be both responsive and representative of the wider interests of Nigerians,” he said.