Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General, All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh Lukman, has stated that the party’s 2023 presidential ticket will be open to all regions.
Lukman, who dropped the hint while fielding questions from newsmen on Monday in Abuja, also dismissed the insinuation that President Muhammadu Buhari has decided or that the party has zoned the ticket anywhere.
He insisted that a level-playing field in APC has been well conceived, created, nurtured and is now gaining traction by the day.
‘For instance, everybody could see that the place is open whether you call it with reference to 2023 or reference to any election, it’s about the fact that the spirit of political contest in the party is now very high.
‘It means that if you want to negotiate as a good negotiator if you want to canvass as a good canvasser for a specific interest, the party is up to you. The pertinent point to make here is that nobody can say President Buhari has decided or there is a decision by the party that this is where it would go.
‘That is why in the whole speculation out there in the public, you will see that there are so many names put in the public space which means that in 2023 there would be a contest in APC.
‘And if you are a politician, what are you looking for, is it not contest? So you go to where you know that if you play your card very well, there is a 50-50 chance that you can get what you want, when you want it and where you want it.
‘That is the message now which the President has nurtured and popularised in the APC. By extension, it serves a death knell that marks the end of foreclosure in political contests in Nigerian politics. What we are saying is that foreclosure in our political contests is dead,’ he said.
Asked whether the level-playing ground is practicable in APC, Lukman replied: ‘Of course, it is enforceable and it is being enforced. Sound politics is impossible where there’s a foreclosure. In APC today, I can assure you that it is not going to be where you can tell there is a foreclosure.
‘This is the attraction in APC and that is why it is significant for us in APC in spite of all the slander that APC is anti-South East notwithstanding all the initiative of the federal government in terms of the sound and credible development initiative currently in place in the South-East.
‘That is why you now see a governor of the calibre, competence and credibility of Governor Dave Umahi in the Southeast saying no, no, there is no justice where I am. He has not said where he is going he is guaranteed of justice but he is absolutely sure that if he plays his card well in his new environment, there is the likelihood that he will get adequate justice,’ he said.
The PGF DG also noted that: ‘President has diligently nurtured and popularised sincere desire driven by patriotic favour running on diligent thought and efficient and clinical execution. You will only need to watch as we progress towards 2023.’