By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman, has cautioned the leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC) that no amount of propaganda will erase the realities of insecurity in the country.
The DG therefore enjoined the party leaders, both elected and appointed, to revert to its original manifesto, to avoid losing its electoral credibility ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Presenting a keynote speech during the 2020 APC Press corps conference in Abuja, Lukman who made these remarks, said though the government has made genuine efforts to address some of the challenges facing the country, he said the persistence of some of the issues of insecurity, economy and corruption have grave implications on the party’s electoral values.
While he cautioned party loyalists to desist from justifying and defending every decision of leaders, he said “Often, many of us make the mistake of imagining that our responsibility is to rationalise decisions of our party and our leaders. Yes, we need to justify and defend decisions of our party and our leaders to the best of our ability.
“At every opportunity we must lead the advocacy to promote our party and our leaders. Beyond that however, we must be in a position to protect the electoral advantages of our party. This is largely because once we lose those advantages, all the public attention we enjoy today, will disappear.”
“Therefore, as much as we should defend and promote decisions of our leaders, we must do so bearing in mind that in the end politics is about serving citizens. In any event, we must remember that like any human organisation, our party is not perfect, and our responsibility is to constantly work to improve on the capacity of the party to grow and effectively provide us with the platform to be able to engage in political contests. In other words, our party is work-in-progress. “
“Closer scrutiny will show that a major gap exists in the area of accountability and delivery by our respective security services. This is an area that our party manifesto was very clear, and we need to begin to initiate and speed up implementation. It may be worth recalling the six proposals contained in the section Keeping Nigeria Safe, especially regarding commitment on Accountability & delivery in page 19 of our manifesto as follows:
“Create a Federal Anti-Terrerism Agency (FATA), with properly trained and professional staff combining elements of both Police and the State Security Service, which would be fully accountable to the National Assembly to conduct anti-terrorism and counter insurgency operations.
“Develop, promote and implement a public accountability framework to enhance the operational autonomy and efficiency of the military, police and other security agencies in the discharge of their constitutional mandates.
“Develop the oversight of local policing, including the nomination of the State Police Commissioner and management of the prison service to the state.