APC Shortchanging North Central Zone, Ex-vice Chairman, Lukman


Former national vice chairman (North West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Mohammed Lukman, has said that the North Central zone is being sidelined in the leadership positions of the party.

Lukman said to correct the constitutional abnormality, the Deputy Senate President position should be given to the North Central zone and taken from Kano in North West where the  current holder of the position,  Senator Barau Jibrin hails from.

In a letter dated April 2, 2024, addressed to the national chairman of the party, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, but made available to newsmen on Wednesday, Lukaman lamented that eight months under your leadership, no National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting has been held.

He reiterated that the emergence of Ganduje as the national chairman violates the APC Constitution, insisting that Nasarawa State in the North Central zone deserves to produce the party’s national chairman as well as the Deputy Senate President.

“It is my hope everything will be done to speed up restoring Constitutional order in APC. It is also my hope that meetings of organs of the party, especially NEC will take place very soon and the meetings will review the situation facing the party and address the challenges, including rectifying the issue whereby the leadership of the country is skewed against the people of North Central.

“It is unacceptable that a party envisioned to be progressive will produce unbalanced leadership for the country. It is objectionable that an envisioned progressive party will discriminate against members simply because they are critical of initiatives of leaders or lack of it.”

Making recommendations he said the “position of Deputy Senate President, currently being held by Senator Barau Jibrin, who is from Kano State where you come from should be relinquished to someone from North Central.”

He said the North West shouldn’t hold on to three key leadership positions of national chairman, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Deputy Senate President when North Central is completely shut out.

“If any of the three positions is to be sacrificed, the position of Deputy Senate President is currently being held by Sen. Barau, who is from Kano State where the National Chairman come from, should be the one to be sacrificed.”

The letter further read, “I am compelled to once more appeal to you to kindly justify the confidence of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on your leadership capacity to move our great party, APC, forward. Moving APC forward, as it is, is largely a function of restoring constitutional order, based on which the prospect of returning the party to its founding vision of becoming a progressive party can be achieved. To achieve that, my letter of August 27, 2023 presented nine (9) demands, which were carryover from demands made to Sen. Abdullahi Adamu when he was national chairman.

A copy of the August 27, 2023 letter is hereby attached for ease of reference.




“You may wish to recall that I opposed your nomination to become the National Chairman largely because the position has been zoned to Nasarawa State from North Central. Article 31.5(i) of the APC clearly directed that when there is vacancy in the case of National/Zonal Officer, the State Executive Committee shall propose a replacement to the State Congress and Zonal Executive Committee for endorsement. Thereafter, the name shall be forwarded to the National Working Committee, which shall be forwarded to the National Executive Committee for approval. Given this provision, Nasarawa State would have nominated a replacement of Sen. Adamu, and not Kano State where you come from. Till today, I stand by my position that your emergence as National Chairman is a violation of this provision of the APC Constitution.




“Notwithstanding that your emergence represents a violation of APC Constitution, being a decision of NEC, I respect it and hope that you will introduce initiatives that will help cure the malady, which further erode the progressive credentials of the APC. Beyond violation of the APC Constitution, your emergence as APC National Chairman, created a problem of injustice to the people of North Central as they were completely shut out of representation in key leadership positions in the country. To rectify that, in my letter under reference, I recommended that, being the National Chairman, you can initiate measures to both heal and pacify the people of North Central.




“Sincerely, having emerged as the National Chairman against every rational consideration, my candid expectation is that you will justify your emergence by ensuring that you, at the minimum, restore Constitutional order in the party.




“Sadly, instead, what we have is business as usual. Eight months under your leadership, no NEC meeting has held, which is supposed to be at least once every quarter. If the Constitution of the party had been respected, at least two NEC meetings would have held. No meeting of National Caucus has taken place. The National Advisory Council is yet to be inaugurated. Because all the higher organs of the party have been frozen, the National Working Committee (NWC) is not honouring its obligation of presenting annual national budgets for the operations of the party in line with provisions Article 13.3(xiv) of the APC Constitution. Similarly, the obligation of presenting quarterly financial reports on income and expenditure of the party is not respected.”




He decried that in the absence of annual national budgets, the party has failed to establish a clearly defined funding framework which has reduced the NWC and its members to beggars at the mercy of elected representatives.




“This is a matter I draw your attention to the first time we met on September 4, 2023 after your emergence as the National Chairman of APC, for which I offered to present a proposal to you, which I did and submitted to you on October 24, 2023. A copy of the proposal titled APC Annual National Budget: Proposal Submitted to National Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is hereby attached”




He added that Ganduje, since he emerged as the APC national chairman, has repeated and deepened all the mistakes of past APC leadership. You have been unable to recreate the party based on which organs of the party as provided in the APC Constitution are made functional.




“As things are, if allowed to continue, the risk of losing elections is high. Even in the North West where you come from, party organisation has been weakened under your leadership in virtually all our states. Under your watch, you are unable to regulate the excessive conducts of some leaders. Consequently, the leadership crisis is snowballing in many states with hardly any visible indication of efforts from your leadership to intervene and resolve the issues.




“Perhaps, it is important to acknowledge some of the emerging information about the prospect of meetings of National Caucus and NEC being speculated to take place very soon. It is my hope that these meetings are used to honestly review realities facing the party and at the minimum take every necessary decision to return the party to Constitutional order.




“Returning the APC to Constitutional is fundamentally required to highlight the commitment of President Asiwaju Tinubu to Nigeria’s democratic development. It is very painful that a party envisioned to be progressive is today behaving as anything but democratic.




“It is the highest embarrassment that a party that emerged with a popular support base in the country, defeating a ruling party with all the expectations of being representative and responsive of the diverse interests of Nigerians is being destroyed and reduced to being the most conservative and highly insensitive of challenges facing the country.




“The culture of the party being a mere observer to initiatives of elected representatives including governments produced by the party is continuing. Given such circumstances, the party’s manifesto is the first casualty. None of our governments is being guided by the provisions of the APC manifesto. Once this continues, the vision of being a progressive party is sacrificed.




“The sad reality adopted by the party under your leadership is that every initiative of our elected representatives is right. And that the only recognisable and most important stakeholders of the party are elected representatives and their appointees. Yet, these are the main and biggest sources of all the problems of the party. Busy as this category of people are, when it comes to setting up party committees, they are the only people being considered. Every other category is regarded as inconsequential. How can we guarantee representation when power play becomes the dominant consideration in proposing any initiative?




“Because of power play being the dominant consideration in proposing initiatives of the party, we are becoming more and more intolerant to criticisms. Many of us who are critical are going through all forms of victimisation. To that extent, people who have campaigned against our party and did everything to defeat our party and our candidates are today taking centre stages in the activities of our governments. With this, it is more rewarding to be in opposition to our party. It is very sad that APC is allowed to degenerate, and your leadership seems to be untouched by this reality.




“Maybe we need to ask the question, what exactly is your vision and by extension, what is the vision of President Asiwaju Tinubu? Before now, many of us believed that President Asiwaju Tinubu, together with other APC leaders had the vision of molding APC to become a modelled progressive party in Nigeria. With all the sacrifices made during the merger negotiations to produce the APC and the 2015 campaign leading to the defeat of PDP, our belief was strengthened. However, with what is going on now especially with the way President Asiwaju Tinubu dumped the APC in your hands after the resignation of Sen. Adamu, we cannot but ask the question, what is the vision of President Asiwaju Tinubu?




“If under the leadership of President Asiwaju Tinubu, the best the party can produce are initiatives or lack of it from your leadership, we can as well declare and end to progressive politics in Nigeria. I am convinced that your leadership is the direct opposite of the vision of President Asiwaju Tinubu. That being the case, it is either you adjust and align yourself with the vision of President Asiwaju Tinubu to develop Nigerian democracy based on which our party emerged as a modelled progressive party, which is functional in line with provisions of the APC Constitution, or you simply take the path of honour and vacate the position of National Chairman.




“Emerging as a modeled progressive party require meetings of all organs as


prescribed by the APC Constitution. In addition, it requires a high level of tolerance and accommodating views of members. Organs and structures of the party at both national and state levels must be oriented to develop needed capacity to engage and regulate the conduct of governments to initiate policies in line with provisions of the APC manifesto.




“Given the reality whereby we are having leaders at all levels, including Governors who exude ignorance of provisions of APC manifesto, urgent actions are required to reorient party leaders to be conscious and knowledgeable of provisions of APC manifesto and what is required to translate it into policy proposals,” he said.

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