By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman, has advised the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to reinvent the path which seeks to unite all the ethnic and religious blocks in the Nigerian political system as an urgent measure to win the 2023 presidential election.
Briefing journalists in Abuja yesterday on his new book titled “APC and Progressive Politics in Nigeria”, Lukman said there is also an urgent need for the party leaders to return to era of holding regular meetings and avoid antagonistic disposition to dissenting views and voices among party faithful.
He revealed how regular meetings between 2013 and 2014 by some leaders of the party, including President Muhammad Buhari himself, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Owelle Rochas Okorocha, led to the landmark victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
According to him, “Part of what is needed in the circumstance, is to remind our leaders that one of the factors that ensured that our leaders were united, which made the electoral victory of 2015 possible was that they were meeting almost on weekly basis.
“It was not factional meetings, all our leaders attended almost all these meetings and they respected every decision. I can recall with nostalgic feelings that between 2013 and December 2014, President Buhari, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Owelle Rochas Okorocha were in attendance in virtually every meeting.
“The only person who later emerged as Presidential aspirant under the party but wasn’t at such meetings was Mr. Sam Nda Isiah. This was perhaps because he wasn’t qualified as a political stakeholder to be among those to be invited.
“I will continue to remind our leaders that at no time did any of our leader who aspired to emerge as Presidential candidate get criminalised. As a very junior appointee of the party, some of us even took hardline public positions against the aspiration of President Buhari for instance.
“But at no time did President Buhari or any of the other leaders who aspired to be the party’s Presidential candidate made it an issue. They related with all of us with the full knowledge of our public position.”