A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Moh Lukman, has again warned that any delay of the party’s national convention beyond February date will further weakens the chances of the ruling party to win an election.
Lukman also appealed to all APC leaders to take the issue of leadership recruitment beyond the question of loyalty.
In a statement released to newsmen Thursday in Abuja, the PGF boss further postponement of the national convention will mean that the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) has “new objective is probably to take APC to its political grave. This should not be acceptable!
“Unless the CECPC has given itself the new responsibility of being the political and electoral undertaker of the APC, it must stop promoting some subversive campaigns suggesting that it is undertaking ‘the immediate task of addressing contestations within the Party, litigations, fallouts of recently conducted Congresses and generally reposition the Party ahead of the National Convention.’
“The more the party continue to allow the leadership of the CECPC to continue to hold everyone captive and refuse to commence the process of organising the February APC National Convention, the more party leaders would have supported the CECPC in weakening the electoral prospect of the APC. Largely on account of delaying the implementation of decision to organise the February APC National Convention, there is hardly any internal party preparation for the 2023 electoral contest beyond individual leaders declaring their personal aspirations for offices.
“Without any prejudice to the aspirations of leaders, it is important that the party is able to set some minimum standards for the 2023 campaigns so that individual aspirants can orient their internal party mobilisation around those minimum standards. APC must not make the mistake of orientating its internal party mobilisation for the emergence of candidates for 2023 elections, especially Presidential Candidate only based on personality contest.
“Personality contest will only weaken the APC and undermine the capacity of the party to link its 2023 electoral contest with the achievements of the party, especially the Federal Government led by President Buhari. Once that is the case, the party will be strengthening the false opposition narrative about the failure of APC and President Buhari.
“If APC want to unassailably win the 2023 elections, it must take all the necessary steps to correct this false narrative. This can only start happening if everyone, APC leaders and members, rise to the challenge of ensuring that the CECPC faithfully implement the decision to organise the APC National Convention in February 2022. A major indicator for this would also include a review of the APC manifesto at the Convention.”
Lukman listed five recommendations for party leaders to adopt as minimum guiding principles to determine the qualification of potential party leaders especially the National Chairman.
“Any potential candidate must have good relations will party leaders at national level, especially President Buhari.
“The candidate must also have good relations with all party leaders in his/her state, including the Governor, where there is an APC government.
“It should be a strong advantage when the aspiring person has played any role during the merger negotiation that produced APC and has been consistent in the party since 2013. This means such a parson would have the needed institutional memory to recognise and respect sacrifices made by party leaders and members to make the merger that produce the APC successful.
“It should be a strong disadvantage when any aspiring candidate has records of defection from the party or any of the legacy parties that merged to form the APC.
“Finally, public service experience will not only be an advantage but a measure of determining the democratic credentials of the candidate. Any candidate with public service experience at whatever level without incontestable records of achievements, such a person can not inspire any party member and by extension Nigerians into believing that his/her leadership can bring any good electoral fortune for the party.”
The PGF boss, however declared that the firstchallenge was to ensure that the CECPC has no option but to organise the APC National Convention in February 2022 as decided based on all the consultations that has taken place.
“The CECPC must be told that all consultations about organising the Convention ended with the meeting with President Buhari on November 22, 2021 and therefore the CECPC leadership should stop lying to Nigerians and APC members.
“The CECPC should also stop claiming that it is waiting for the meeting of Progressive Governors before it takes all the necessary decisions to commence the process of organising the Convention. Such a claim is not only dishonest but also taking the support of Progressive Governors for granted, which is why Progressive Governors have been reduced to punching bags of all party members regarding all the challenges facing the party.”
SDP hopeful as Kogi petition tribunal moves away from violence prone Lokoja
***insists on reclaiming mandate to develop Kogi
The national leadership of the Social Democratic Party, (SDP) has reacted to the reports that the Kogi Election Petition Tribunal has now shifted its venue to Abuja as it will no longer sit in Lokoja.
The National secretary of the party, Dr Olu Agunloye, in a statement on Thursday said the Nigeria Police had publicly disclosed that the Secretary of the Election Petition Tribunal, Mr. David Mike Umar was reported to have been robbed of the vital documents and petitions on Monday, 4 December 2023 by gunmen in broad daylight in Lokoja.
He explained saying, gunmen and hoodlums, in a false flag operation, as grimly stated by the Tribunal Secretary, attacked the Tribunal and carted away “all the documents including Petitions filed by four Parties.
The four Political Parties namely Action Alliance (AA), Action People’s Party (APP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP)”, against the declaration of APC’s Alhaji Usman Ododo as Governor-Elect is purely a criminal activity which the law enforcement agents must tackle.
“That the locations of INEC and its officials in Kogi have been attacked by thugs and arsonists is another criminal act that should be investigated and tackled. “Also, that videos of persons thumbprinting ballot papers in Kogi State days after the election are flying around is yet another criminal act staring at the face of law enforcement agencies.
“Although these criminal acts are not out of character or unexpected, they go a long way to support the strong views that the mandate of Alh Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, which was indeed stolen, is set to be retrieved and claimed by Muri and the good people of Kogi State.
He reiterated the position that none of the criminal acts will stop the Tribunal which is now set to sit at the Federal Capital in Abuja. “Even when the Tribunal had lost all its documents and Petitions to gunmen, who appeared sympathetic with declared Governor-elect Usman Ododo, the tribunal will still sit.
“All that will be required is that the respective parties would be called upon to deliver copies of their Petitions to the Tribunal along with the payment receipts.
“The SDP is ready with theirs.”
According to him, “Now that the Tribunal has been relocated to Abuja, hope is again restored that all will be well.
“Nigerians expect that justice will be served without any or much criminal interferences, and Alhaji Muritala Ajaka will claim his mandate back.
“The goodness of this, is that for vast majority of Kogi people, mostly disenfranchised or deprived over the years, a new era of creating and spreading wealth instead of violence will soon commence under Alhaji Muritala Ajaka.
“Muri and the people of Kogi will then take over and start to chart new paths for the Kogi development agenda for youths’ employment and empowerment, women emancipation, and technological and industrial transformation with no time or space for witch-hunting, retaliations, or false flag operations.
“Indeed, a new era of development is beckoning in Kogi State.”
Akpabio brags about South South capacity to deliver for Tinubu in 2027
***Says, Akwa Ibom votes for APC in 2023 surpassed all that of 5 south East States
The President of the Senate Godswill Akpabio has boasted that the entire South South States will resoundingly deliver victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2027 to return President Bola Tinubu for second term.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday when the zonal Leadership of the South South APC ked by the National Vice Chairman Victor Giadom Paul him a courtesy call
He said the party in Akwa Ibom made it possible for Tinubu to secure the 25% requirement to win.
He said Akwa Ibom alone devered more than 800000 votes for APC which he said was more than the votes the five South East States gave to the APC
“You will be surprised that the votes from Akwa Ibom alone for the APC in the Presidential election was more.l than the total votes from the five states of the South East
“What it really mean is that recall when David Leon contested in Bayelsa State, he won resoundingly but he was not sworn in, that happened a day before swearing in and even this last one that Timipre Sylva contested we also did very well and we are now in court so I cannot comment of that. “That shows you the strength of the APC in the region and even when the PDP is the ruling party in Rivers State where the Chairman Victor Giadom comes from, we were able to win the presidential election Rivers State, I am talking based on data which can not lie.
“I want to say that with that giant step now that we have a senate President, I don’t see any reason why the entirety of the South South Region will not become APC. “The only way we can pay back the National leaders of our party, the only way we can show the President for standing by us in the South South to produce a sente President After 45 years is for us to make sure that in 2027 we will give him and the entire APC resounding victory in the 6 States of the South South region.
“We are steadily moving on, Cross Rivers State is 100% APC. Here and there some people will emerge either in the Senate or the House of reps and the House of Assembly but in the governorship and government of the State is totally APC.
“Akwa Ibom has the Senate President, so for you to have members of the House of Representatives it shows that things are about to happen.
“For you to have won the presidential election in Rivers State where the Zonal chairman comes from, means things are beginning to happen.
He said in 2019 APC won in Bayelsa State except for technical issues in the court.
“That shows clearly that APC has come to stay in the entire South South,
“Edo State the APC governor took government house into another party and so election is coming next year, we expect the chairman to double his effort with all of us to be included in the campaign and ensure we get back what belongs to us. “Your visit is timely and I believe strongly that working together with you, APC can only be stronger in the South South Region
“On our part, we are working across party lines to support President Tinubu, all the senators of the South South are determine to give Tinubu the support so that he can succeed irrespective of party affiliation and that is a good sign
Nasarawa govt berates PDP over protest against Appeal Court judgment
From Daniel Abel, Lafia
The Nasarawa State Government has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state against blackmailing the judiciary over Nasarawa governorship tussle.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr, Peter Ahemba, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Gov. Abdullahi Sule on Public Affairs and made available to newsmen on Monday in Lafia.
The reaction followed the recent protest in Lafia against the Appeal Court governorship election judgment by a group purported to be coalition of indigenous people of Nasarawa State.
The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday, November 23 had set aside the judgment of the tribunal of Oct. 2nd and declared Sule as the winner of the election.
The governorship elections petition tribunal on Oct. 2, annulled the election of Gov. Abdullahi Sule of All Progressives Congress (APC) and declared David Ombugadu of PDP as the winner of March 18 election.
The governor’s aide described the protest as the shameful step against the judgment of the Appeal Court by a group hired by the PDP.
Ahemba added that the decision of the Appeal Court was a true reflection of the popular mandate freely given to the governor by the electorates on March 18.
He explained that the government has confidence in the judiciary and believed that justice would be served at the Supreme Court.
He further explained that when the PDP was declared at the tribunal nobody protested, rather, the governor challenged the decision at the appeal court.
He advised PDP and its candidate to also challenge the outcome of the appeal court as they cannot takeover power through the backdoor.
“The same party that was crying of external interference on the governorship dispute in the state is now calling on President Bola Tinubu and international communities to interfere,” he added.
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