By Musa Adamu
The Senate has taken a swipe at the Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh Lukman, for criticising how All Progressive Congress (APC) has handled the ongoing Edo election campaigns, by describing it as weak, defeatist and cowardly.
In statement issued by Senator Ajibola Basiru, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senate described the DG’s action as treacherous, warning that Salihu Moh Lukman should immediately be called to order by the Progressive Governors Forum and be shut out from making disparaging remarks about the party.
According to the Senate, “People who really have nothing useful to contribute to the ongoing campaigns should desist from making remarks that will discourage genuine democrats who are working for the progress of APC and the Nation. The DG has berated the leadership of the APC for adopting the wrong approach to electioneering campaign in Edo State and for specifically allowing Comrade Oshimhole to lead the campaign.”
The Senate spokesman, while dismissing these views of Salihu Lukman, pointed out that he has conceded electoral victory to the opposition before casting of the first ballot, saying that no true progressive minded individual ought to nurse this kind of negative views against his party.
“The approach advocated by the DG that Oshiomhole should be withdrawn into the background is cowardly, weak and at the best, defeatist as well as treacherous” the Senator said.
He queried “how can anyone withdraw his best asset when needed most? “We shall be indulging in self delusion if we say Comrade Oshiomhole is not important or central to the ongoing campaigns, especially when the opposition has made him the focus of their campaign”.
He reminded the DG that the same Oshiomhole led Obaseki by the nose and campaigned vigorously for him to become governor years back.
“It is disturbing for a progressive to take the position of Salihu berating your own party publicly as ‘beating the drums of war’ and so awarding conceding victory to your opponent before the actual contest. The view of the DG that Pastor Ize Iyamu is an onlooker in his own election is also not correct because Ize Iyamu is sufficiently popular and had been in the political limelight in the State for years. In fact, we fought ‘tooth and nail’ to defeat him in the last election”, Basiru said.
He advised the DG to rid himself of the anti Oshiomhole sentiments running deep among his haters and allow him to perform his legal and fundamental rights of canvassing for the candidate of his choice, especially when those against him have absolutely nothing to contribute.
“The intentions of the DG and some of the so called Progressive Governors, whose opinions are represented in this unsolicited outburst, that at best could be an internal memo, are less than noble and amounts to shooting down what the party has laboured to build”, he said.