From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
An All Progressives Congress (APC) pressure group, the APC Rebirth, has expressed anger against the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) over the resignation of its Director General of the forum, Mallam Salihu Moh Lukman.
Announcing that it received the news with sadness, the APC Rebirth, noted that “there is nothing progressive about the actions of the Governors Forum.
In a statement signed by the Coordinator, Alihu Audi, the group however commended the PGF DG for toeing the path of honours by tendering his resignation.
“The APC Rebirth has received with sadness, the news of the resignation of the PGF DG. While we hail him for his decision to tender his resignation as the honourable thing to do in the present circumstance, we are not unaware of the fact that the governors of the APC at their meeting on Sunday orchestrated the resignation over his position on the state of affairs of the APC, and particularly his calls for the conduct of the national convention which is long overdue.
“Our disappointment is in the fact that a party that prides itself as a progressive party, more so governors elected under its platform, would be so intolerant to opinions that are not in agreement with their desires. We are however not in the least surprised.
“When we started our campaign for the rebirth of the party as a way to address the obvious nosedive occasioned by the way past and current handlers were managing affairs, we were not only barred from using the party secretariat for any of our activities, members of the group were barred from entering the secretariat.
“Just like the APC Rebirth Group, Salihu Lukman shares a deep concern about the state of affairs of the party. Not only has he courageously and consistently identified the problems, he has made far-reaching recommendations on how best to navigate the booby traps set before the party, but rather than heed his calls, the governors of the APC mounted pressure on him to throw in the towel.
“It is illogical that the attempt to stifle freedom of expression is being promoted by elected executives in a democracy, more so in a party that is said to be progressive. This is not only a sad reminder of our anti-democratic experiences, it also points to the need to elect individuals with requisite intellect and maturity who are able to embrace opposing views and extract the substance therein without recourse to any manner of a witch-hunt.
“Without gainsaying, there is nothing progressive about the actions of our present leaders in the APC who are behind all the plots to silence constructive opposing views,” the group stated.
Reacting further, the Rebirth group noted: “Having now resigned his appointment, Salihu Lukam has freed himself from the shackles the position of the DG PGF placed on him. He is now at liberty, more than ever before, to continue his constructive engagement on behalf of millions of APC members who count on the bravery and fair-mindedness of people like him.
“The governors and leaders of the party on the other hand have exposed their lack of principle as progressives, their inability to embrace opposing views or even the capacity to make substance from them.
“While we wish Salihu Lukman continued success in the service of our party and country, it is our prayer that he continues on his chosen path of truth and conscience,” the group charged in the statement.