From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Director-General, All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Moh Lukman, has claimed that lack of capacity building and correction of inadequacies are the challenges facing both the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Responding formally to the claims by former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, that the two major political parties are failures, he argued that the APC is not in the same failed category with the opposition party, PDP.
Expressing reservations in the responses from the spokespersons of both parties, he lamented the level of crude methods politicians apply to rubbish persons with different opinion from theirs.
“The truth is that one-dimensional politics in Nigeria, create a situation whereby no matter one’s level of education or exposure, the person must contend with the strong opinions of politicians. Going contrary to those opinions will be resisted. In the process, crude methods will be applied to rubbish the person.
“Recall how sadly under the immediate past leadership of the APC, a particular person was disqualified from emerging as a candidate of the party for election based on false allegation that his academic qualification was forged. Even when the Registrar of the institution made public statement confirming that the person graduated from that institution, the APC leadership went ahead to disqualify the person. With one-dimensional politics, everything is reduced to opinion,” he argued.
Reacting further on the difference between the two parties, he said: “If evidence-based politics is the reference, the recognition that no party is perfect is important. To that extend, it should be also recognised that both PDP and APC have challenges. Part of the challenge is that leaders and members of political parties should constantly be working to build capacity and correct inadequacies.
“The degree to which leaders of political parties ignore problems or deny that those challenges exist, the weaker they will be in managing public trust. Once the disposition of leaders is to deny existence of challenges, one-dimensional politics oriented based on opinions, which may not be the true reflections of reality, will be the attraction.
“Therefore, when PDP’s spokesperson Ologbondiyan referred to ‘significant milestones’ recorded during the 16 years tenure of the PDP, it is more about his opinion, which for opportunistic reasons of gaining electoral advantage could be acceptable to other PDP leaders and members.
“The evidence so far from PDP’s record of 16 years in government is largely about litany of corruption and how problems of insecurity become widespread in the country. With respect to the problem of corruption, series of reports of investigation are there, which is not about anybody’s opinion,” he argued in a statement he titled, Nigerian politics and fallacy of PDP–APC semblance.
The PGF DG, in strengthening his argument that APC is better than the PDP in what he subtitled APC’s contrasting scorecard, said: “Unlike PDP leaders, APC leaders are not in denial of the existence of challenges. Despite the challenges, however, APC federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is making efforts to move the country forward.
“To confirm that, unlike the PDP, APC-led government is not a failure, three important achievements, in the areas of social investment, infrastructure and agriculture will be emphasised. Assessment of challenges of insecurity and how APC is handling it different will be also presented as part of the supporting evidence of APC’s contrasting scorecard.
“Apart from these three sectors, there are other initiatives in other sectors. The achievements cited in these three sectors is just to substantiate the point that based on records of performance in government, APC can’t be in the same category with PDP.
“Anybody arguing that these achievements represent failure will need to substantiate it with convincing evidence of how their impact on the lives Nigerians translate to negative outcomes,” he said.