From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Former director general of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Mallam Salihu Moh Lukman, has said his resignation was in the best interest of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Lukman, in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, also declared that he would continue with campaign to rescue the party, even while awaiting the acceptance of his resignation by the APC governors.
The PGF is an umbrella body of serving governors elected on the platform of the APC. He resigned on Monday over crisis rocking the planned national convention of the ruling party.
“I have privately responded to many enquiries from party leaders, friends, family members and clarified that it is true that my decision to resign my position is to enable me to continue with the campaign to return APC to its founding vision, which is to build a party that is not only democratic but oriented based on social democratic principles”, he said.
Lukman recalled that since the buildup to the 2019 elections, internal contests in the ruling APC began to degenerate.
According to him, some leaders became intolerant and conducted themselves almost as tyrants while every campaign to get the leadership of the party to commence the process of internal reform was resisted.
“Some party leaders in the bid to emerge as candidates of the party for offices became hostile. Party campaign drifted to almost war situations in many instances. Organs of the party stop meetings as required by the constitution. Views of party leaders became decisions of the party.
“Thank God, we have a leader in President Muhammadu Buhari who disagreed with what is going on in the party and support the campaign for reform.
“Without going into all the details, the inspiration to setup the current caretaker committee came from President Buhari based on the expectation of ensuring that the drift in the party is arrested.
“This is expected to produce a new leadership, which should emerge at the party’s National Convention. Once the caretaker committee began to show sign of reluctance to organise the Convention, it should be a source of concern to all party members desirous of reform”, Lukman added.
He said following the news of his resignation, many party leaders and members called to express their worries.
“One of the party leaders who honoured me with an invitation to meet him late on Tuesday, January 17, 2022, was Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He commended me for championing the campaigns to reform the party and expressed shock that some members of Forum were intolerant to criticism.
“He argued that any party leader who will not accommodate critical opinion on fundamental issue such as respecting decisions and especially a matter as sensitive as organising the National Convention, which is the highest organ of the party, such a person is not a democrat and shouldn’t be associated with a party envisioned to be progressive such as the APC.
“With these words, he encouraged me to continue with my campaign, which is what the party needs. He declared his support to all decisions of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that APC Convention holds in February 2022”, said Lukman.
He said following the announcement that the national convention of the party will hold on February 26, party leaders must ensure the new leadership that would emerge are tolerant to criticism and democratic.