APC Zoning: It’s North Central’s Turn, Says North West Vice Chair

National vice chairman (North West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Salihu Lukman, has pointedly told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the governors of the party that the zoning formula of the party cedes office of the national chairman to the North Central geopolitical zone.

He urged Tinubu to follow the party’s zoning arrangement, noting that if it were to be a president with military background, it would be understandable, but not with a president with outright civilian background who has led the struggle for democracy in Nigeria for almost four decades.

Lukman said restoring constitutional order to APC would require some demonstration of commitment to giving life to the statutory organs of the party so that the debate about replacing the national chairman and all existing vacancies, including that of thenNational secretary would be done within the structures of the party.

The vice chairman was responding to reactions against his position on  the choice of former Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, as replacement for Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the next national chairman.

In a statement he issued yesterday, Lukman noted that the inability to revive statutory organs of the party could be interpreted to mean that the process of replacing existing vacancies will be manipulated to suit some narrow interests within the party, even if it means violating provisions of the APC constitution.

 He said, “The situation we face today in APC presents us with the opportunity to restore constitutional order in APC. Once we don’t use the opportunity properly and restore the sanctity of the APC constitution, we would be laying the foundation for worse things to happen under a new National Chairman.

“As NWC members we must be seen to be active in the debate of the way forward. A situation whereby President Asiwaju Tinubu and Progressive Governors are being alleged to have decided on Dr. Ganduje as the next National Chairman of APC without consulting other power blocs in the party and without meeting any of the organs of the party, including the NWC, is very risky and potentially damaging to President Asiwaju Tinubu and the party.

“If this is associated with a President who comes from a military background, it will be understandable. But to be associated with President Asiwaju Tinubu whose background is outrightly civilian having led the struggle for democracy in Nigeria for almost four decades, it will be highly unimaginable.”

Lukman urged the party’s NWC members to implore those pushing for Ganduje as APC national chairman to allow due process within the party to prevail.

 “We must therefore appeal to all those sponsoring this campaign to nominate Dr. Ganduje for the position of APC National Chairman, especially His Excellency, Hope Uzodinma, Chairman, Progressive Governors Forum to come to order and allow due process within the party to take its rightful course in the selection process of who become the next APC National Chairman,” he noted.

The former director-general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) warned that nobody, including the governors, should be allowed to entrench arbitrariness and injustice in determining who emerges as the next national chairman of the party.

He continued: “We must remind everyone, including President Asiwaju Tinubu that so far, the agreed zoning formula in APC cedes the position of National Chairman of the party to North Central.

“Therefore, the relevant section of APC constitution with respect to filling vacancies should be respected. Anything short of that will amount to illegality and will constitute an act of injustice against members of the party from North Central. A party envisioned to be progressive must not be associated with that especially if one of our objectives now is to return the APC to its founding vision of emerging as a progressive party.”

He further implored other party leaders to speak up, saying  the vision of producing a progressive party cannot be produced with a reticent leadership.

“As NWC members, we need to appreciate that part of our responsibility is to ensure that all our elected representatives are guided to produce outcomes based on provisions of our manifesto and all our campaign promises. This is a function of the knowledge and skills of individual members.

“We must challenge ourselves to rise to the occasion by demonstrating the required capacity and competence. A situation whereby we sit in our ‘comfort zones’ and expect our elected representative to come calling and recognise our powers to provide leadership to the party only suggests a gap in competence,” he added.

 

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