National Vice Chairman (North West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Moh Lukman, has stated that the presidential candidate of the ruling party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is not an electoral merchant like other candidates – Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
The former Director General, APC Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) claimed that Tinubu, has more political credibility and trustworthiness than the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku, Labour Party, Peter Obi, and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Kwankwaso.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Lukman claimed that Tinubu’s disposition and political integrity will be the ruling party’s campaign asset and bragging right when campaign activities kick off next month.
“Our experience so far in politics, which is part of the challenge of this democracy, is that people, who are more or less like election merchants, presenting themselves in every election circle as candidate and aspirants, dispute every candidate that emerges, are still there.
“It is not peculiar with the APC, and not unique to PDP. It cut across all the political parties. And check, especially at the presidential level, we have a situation where all the candidates are known faces in terms of electoral politics in this country at the highest level. The only exception perhaps is even the candidate of the APC.
“The last time Tinubu appeared on the ballot was in 2003. It is not the case, at least with the other three popular support parties, PDP, NNPP, and LP, which is a faction of the PDP, because the candidate was on the ballot in 2019.
These are some of the challenges,” he said.
Reacting further, Lukman said: “what I said about our presidential candidate not being on the ballot paper since 2003, was on a positive note to demonstrate that he is not among those I called election merchants. He had every reason to have aspired in 2007, 2011, 2015, and 2019, but he did not. He rather engaged in politics differently and that cannot be said of other candidates whether Atiku, Kwankwaso or Peter Obi.
“I will not descend to the level of challenging their competence, they may be competent, but in terms of personal integrity and trustworthiness in politics, Tinubu has it more than them. He is the one, together with the running mate, that has not changed their political parties on account of aspiring for election, which means that they are people with some level of consciousness and integrity.
“What that means is that trust can be invested in them more than people who when they don’t get what they want in a particular spot, they move to another place. Now for me, these are the issues to highlight. We are ready to debate it as a party, not issues about health challenges, or others that cannot be verified,” he said.
On what APC intend to campaign and convince Nigerians when campaign resumes next month, he said: “Life is about challenges. Those challenges exist, no doubt about it. But I think my response to it is that we will be honest, and we will open ourselves to engagement because democracy is a two-thing.
“Many of the deceptive propaganda being sponsored by opposition to APC is that the solution to the problem lies outside APC. Let nobody be deceived that APC is the problem, APC is not the problem. Yes, there are challenges that we are facing today which emerged while APC is in government, but my pride is that our leaders are not in denial of those challenges unlike in the past.
“If you look at candidates of other parties, they are not coming up with recommendations, they are coming up with propaganda to shoot down APC, but Nigerians should be smarter than that,” he argued