The former Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) and a chieftain of the ruling All All Progressive Congress (APC), Salihu Moh Lukman, has said the ruling party is no longer what it was between 2013 to 2015, alleging some leaders no longer committed to its vision at merger.
Lukman who recently resigned from office due to controversy trailing the convocation of APC national convention, in an open letter to all the party leaders titled: “Politics of Change: APC on the Brink” also called for sanctioning of any leader undermining the forthcoming national convention.
In the open letter released to newsmen Sunday in Abuja, the political activist said problems of intolerance to disagreements and criticisms, with some leaders expecting members to be blindly loyal is becoming a common attribute of the ruling party.
According to Lukman, the truth is that APC is being held captive by some few leaders whose interest is only about imposing themselves as candidates for elections.
“So long as that is the case, it means what we have as APC today wasn’t the party negotiated and produced out of our legacy parties. Rather than the envisioned party, which allows for internal debates and disagreements among party leaders and members, based on which there could be negotiations and agreements, APC today has been diminished to only an election platform, which is what the founding leaders and members wanted to change. The commitment to change the profile of political parties beyond being election platforms was precisely part of why Nigerians supported the APC in 2015.
“This reality is very disturbing. APC today, wasn’t the APC of the period 2013 to 2015. Perhaps outside President Buhari, there are very few elected leaders in APC who are still committed to the founding vision of the party to provide leadership to change Nigerian politics. Given where the nation is coming from under PDP, changing Nigerian politics would require departure from requiring citizens to be blindly loyal to elected leaders. It should require that citizens and party members are free to disagree and criticise elected leaders. In other words, politics of change should produce elected leaders who should be highly tolerant and where possible even accommodate disagreements and criticisms as part the process of decision making.
“Every founding leader and member of the APC must rise to challenge of arresting the drift in the party. Few individual leaders of the party must not be allowed to continue to impose themselves and destroy a party with potentials to provide the needed democratic platform for negotiated resolutions of all the problems of Nigeria.
“As it is today, APC is the only party where contestation is taking place. Again, thanks to President Buhari who is providing unbiased leadership to the party, it is possible for ordinary members to express themselves, including disagreeing with decisions of leaders of the party. This unique leadership of President Buhari has helped a lot to sustain the hope of both party leaders, members and Nigerians desirous of political change.
“Beyond the unbiased leadership of President Buhari, there is the need for all party leaders and members committed to the politics of change to ensure the emergence of party leaders at the February 26, 2022 National Convention who must be tolerant to criticisms and disagreements and should not expect members to be blindly loyal.”
Lukman said if APC is to return to its founding vision of driving the process of change in Nigeria, it must produce leaders who would be able to compel elected representatives produced by the party to be accountable to Nigerians.
On the forthcoming national convention of the APC slated for February, the APC chieftain said the new APC leaders must ensure that structures of the party meet as and when due as provided by the party’s constitution.
“APC leaders must wake up to the responsibility of returning the party to the era when party leaders are tolerant to criticisms and disagreements. Both party leaders and elected representatives must not expect ‘anticipatory obedience’ from both party members and Nigerians. Not expecting ‘anticipatory obedience’ should be part of what will endear the party and its candidates to Nigerians based on which winning elections can be guaranteed just as it was the case in 2015 and 2019.
“Finally, it is important to once more appeal to APC leaders to ensure that the February 26, 2022 National Convention is not just about electing National Working Committee (NWC) members. There must be some reflections about the challenges facing the country, with priority focus on problems of insecurity, rebuilding public education and health through mosilisation of massive financial investment in these sectors. Conclusions and recommendations from the Convention should guide the review process of the party’s manifesto and bring out some of the campaign agenda of the APC for the 2023 campaigns. A major indicator for this would also include a review of the APC manifesto at the Convention.
“The campaign to return APC to its founding vision must have strong expression and resonance at the February 26, 2022 National Convention. The current drift, which is systematically destroying the APC must be arrested based on all the outcomes of the National Convention.
“Any leader working to undermine the National Convention should be sanctioned. Party members need to appeal to party leaders at all levels to return APC to its founding vision, which encourages internal debates and negotiations based on which agreements are reached and respected. APC, being a party of change, encourages members to be critical. A party of change must promote internal debates. Leaders of the party should not expect ‘anticipatory obedience’ from members and Nigerians. That is the APC founded on the sacrifices of leaders and members of our old legacy parties, it is the APC that the February 26, 2022 National Convention must return to!!!”
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.
Credible election in 2027 under APC, Tinubu is a mirage, Timi Frank tells Nigerians
Nigerians should not expect free, fair, transparent and credible elections in 2027 under the administration of President Bola Tinubu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has said
Frank made the call in his reaction to the just concluded off-cycle governorship elections in three states of Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa.
Frank in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, indicated that the level of electoral fraud, manipulation and rigging witnessed in Kogi and Imo states especially, points to the fact that no credible result can come out from future exercises.
“The elections were nothing to write home about and to imagine that it was the first set of elections conducted under the watch of President Tinubu. What happened in Imo and Kogi is a clear indication of the kind of elections Nigerians will witness 2027.
“Our electoral system is presently in dire straits under our highly compromised Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which has now graduated from rigging by manipulating the INEC Result View (IReV) portal and the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) to writing results of polling units before the people cast their ballot.,” he said.
Frank who is the United Liberating Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) Ambassador to East Africa and Middle East, lamented that when INEC which is now a rigging department under APC has finished manipulating results, the judiciary which is unfortunately now the legal department of the ruling party, will simply legalise what the electoral body has done.
Besides, security agencies that were meant to protect voters and arrest riggers also take part in the rigging. The police, and other security agencies are now a security department in the APC.
He insisted that the brazen level of rigging in Imo and Kogi was not surprising because Tinubu himself was installed President through rigging and other acts of impunity which the judiciary validated.
Frank said: “It is sad that when our democracy in Nigeria is meant to be progressing, it is rather retrogressing. Nigeria is now the worst country in terms of compromised election results compared to other African countries.
“We don’t make improvements, we don’t make progress. Things are getting worse. So in 2027, if Nigerians do not take the bull by the horns to fight to restore credibility in our electoral system we’ll continue to have elections where the will of the people will not count. This is even so when the APC has appointed 10 of their card carrying members as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the INEC.
“This anti-democratic and unfortunate development is a clear indication that the conduct of the 2027 elections will be a formality to endorse only APC candidates either as freshers or for second term in their various offices.
“So if Nigerians want change, they should wake up and do the right thing, like other nations have done to defend their democracy.”
According to him, now that all the institutions of government that are meant to defend democracy, have practically compromised, “if we are not careful, Nigeria will turn to a one party state.”
He added: “It’s quite disappointing for a man, who under in the PDP regime was always crying, that the party wanted to turn Nigeria into a one party state, is unfortunately the one that is practically poised to officially turn Nigeria into a one party state like Uganda, Zimbabwe and Cameroon that have been under one party rule for decades.”
He lamented that opposition governors have compromised their parties and have failed to perform their role as opposition because of harassment and blackmail.
He added: “So the opposition governors, especially the PDP governors, have turned themselves into praise singers because they have been blackmailed them to jettison their role as leaders of opposition in the country.
“That’s why some of us have decided to bear the pains by doing everything in our power to legally defend our democracy and our country from turning into a one party state.
“We have commenced mobilising Nigerians especially in diaspora to save the country from the hands of election riggers and make sure our democracy stands.
“If we don’t stop Tinubu and APC, they will turn Nigeria into a one party state like Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Uganda.”
Opposition lawmakers urge INEC to invoke review of false declaration in Imo
***Insist on declaration of PDP candidate Gov elect
Opposition lawmakers have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to invoke the provision on review of false declaration as provided in the Electoral Act to recalculate the Imo governorship election results and declare PDP winner to save the courts and Imo people the agony of long and tiring litigation.
In a post-election world press conference held in Abuja 31 federal lawmakers led by the Opposition Coalition Spokesperson and House of Representatives member representing Ideato North and South Federal Constituency Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, the lawmakers said the electoral umpire can still save its battered image with the review.
They said the actors in the ‘phantom election’ are meant to be arrested and prosecuted for committing such a criminal action of announcing manufactured figures in places election never held, inflating figures and results without voters accreditation.
They declared Hope Uzodimma a self-imposed Governor who was never a product of a valid election. They observed that after the deduction of the over voting and areas election never held or accreditation was never done, the PDP candidate scored the highest number of valid votes and hence INEC ought to have declared Senator Samuel Anyanwu winner.
They also urged the US, UK, France, Canada as well as other lovers of democracy to place visa ban on the key actors and members of their immediate family in the Imo electoral robbery that have buried any hope of credible election. “This shameful electoral crime was audaciously carried out even in areas where activities of Unknown Gun Men have made villagers to flee and yet they produced results that some Local Government Areas in populated Lagos cannot produce.”
They insisted that the results from Okigwe, Oru East the governors home, Oru West, Onuimo, Orsu , Oguta, Ohaji, Nwangele, Orlu, Ideato South, Ideato North, Obowo, are the biggest electoral jokes that will ever come out of Africa, adding that 80 percent of the results or votes didn’t happen as there was no accreditation.
“Those with less than 5 percent accreditation ended up having 80 percent voter turnout etc.
“The election from these areas and other numerous areas if recalculated by accreditation figures will see that the PDP had the highest valid number of accredited votes.
They condemned the role of INEC, security agencies and APC in the criminal operation called Imo election that saw thugs backed by security agencies maiming, shooting and destroying private property in a bid to cow the people to allow them announce already written figures without accreditation or credible election.
They said there are ongoing moves to commence the upload of fake accreditation numbers on the BVAS to tally with the false results haven seen the elections are void by virtue of false accreditation
They insisted that the Imo State Governorship election was marred by wanton rigging, allocation of votes in private homes, declaration of false results, nonuse of the BVAS machine for accreditation intimidation, harassment, snatching of ballot boxes, filling in result sheets even before election started and every other electoral fraud imagined.
According to them, the outcome of the election is illegitimate and the declared winner of the election, Senator Hope Uzodimma not duly elected by the Imo voters as majority of the votes ascribed to him were invalid, void and unlawful votes.
“Hence we declare him a self-imposed Governor of Imo State. We have already exposed evidence of massive over voting from result of BVAS machine accreditation which showed very low turnout and results showing high turnout.
“Moves are on currently in the IT Department of INEC to illegally upload accreditation figures into the BVAS machine to tally with fraud that was committed on Saturday.
“More than 90% of the votes allocated to Hope Uzodimma were not votes that passed through the accreditation process as the turnout in the election was very low and this could be because of the insecurity in Imo State.
“Thugs backed by security agencies were maiming, shooting and destroying private property in a bid to cow the people to allow them announce already written figures without accreditation or credible election.
“It is shameful that the Police did not do anything to investigate the person of Chinasa Nwaneri who has been severally complained against for acts of violence, assault, and he carried it into the election.
“Viral video of a Civil Defence Officer complaining that the same chinasa Nwaneri led the team of election riggers who snatched the magazine from his rifle and another video showing an attack on the residence of the PDP Deputy Governorship candidate, Hon. Jones Onyeriri where the same Chinasa is mentioned as the person that led the attack should worry the Inspector General of Police.
“It is an act of treason for a person to get himself declared as the Governor of a state and the security agencies should swing into action and arrest everyone involved in that heinous crime of Saturday.
“The BVAS accreditation record is evidence of the electoral heist that was conducted on Saturday.”
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