By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Director General of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, yesterday accused former chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole, of frustrating the Mai Mala Buni led caretaker committee, to ensure that he is returned as the party chairman in the Extraordinary Convention of the party.
He also said the high tempers arising from the period of Adams Oshiomole as chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) has continued to negatively influence the disposition of leaders to consider proposals that will move the party forward.
In a letter addressed to Mia Mala Buni yesterday, of which a copy was made available to journalists in Abuja, Lukman lamented that in some cases, charges of anti-party activities are being raised to silence party members presenting proposals that are considered not in sync with the positions of some party leaders, which he said delegitimises such proposals.
According to him, “Tempers are still very high in the party and it is negatively influencing the disposition of leaders to consider proposals. Judgements are made regarding why individual party members should canvass positions within the party”.
He said accusations of allegiances to party leaders nursing 2023 presidential ambitions are made, on account of which proposals are dismissed.
To this end, he appealed to all party leaders to be more disposed to criticism, saying it is an important requirement for making the party open to diverse views and opinions of members, adding that in the end, as committed loyal members, they must respect all decisions of the leaders as arrived in meetings of party organs.
While expressing confidence that the Caretaker/Convention Working Committee is competent to make right decisions to move the party forward, he also alleged that there is grand plot to create an atmosphere to ensure that the former chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomole, is made a contending force for the position of the National Chairman at the Extraordinary APC National Convention.
According to him, “With the resolution of a very difficult leadership crisis in the APC, which began during the 2019 general elections and was only resolved at the emergency NEC of June 25, 2020, the atmosphere in the party is still held hostage by the cloud of pro and anti-Comrade Adams Oshiomhole mindset.
“Just like before the June 25, 2020 emergency NEC, issues of Edo State are dominating public discussions and considerations of issues concerning the party. This is being foisted on the party as a strategy to weaken the initiative of the Caretaker Committee from taking steps that could facilitate the resolution of the leadership crisis through ensuring that the forthcoming Extra Ordinary National Convention to elect a new National Chairman and other members of National Working Committee for the party different from Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is blocked.
“In other words, everything is being done to ensure that the internal politics of the party is manipulated to create situations whereby Comrade Oshiomhole is forcefully made a contender for the position of the National Chairman at the Extra Ordinary APC National Convention”, Lukman alleged in the letter addressed to the caretaker committee chairman of APC.
“Ordinarily, this should not be a problem. However, given that unacceptable strategies are being deployed to blackmail and bully all leaders of the party to make Edo election the only priority of the party makes it very disturbing.”
Meanwhile, he made some recommendations to the caretaker committee, including: “Encouraging internal debate without intimidating members who hold divergent/dissenting views from those held by leaders. Leaders should be accommodating to criticism;
“Convening a dedicated session of the National Caucus to review 2019 General Election, including Kogi, Bayelsa elections and now preparations for Edo and Ondo Governorship elections;
“Convening a NEC meeting to consider and approve proposed activities of the Caretaker/Convention Working Committee up to the Extra Ordinary National Convention;
“Commencing processes of Membership Recruitment/Verification, leading to Reformation of Leadership of the party from Wards, Local Government, States to the Extra Ordinary National Convention; and Setting up Constitutional Review/Amendment Committee, which should be able to submit proposals for review/amendment of the APC constitution.”