The National Vice Chairman, North-west of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Salihu Lukman, has said the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, is not a threat to the ruling party ahead of the 2023 elections.
Speaking with newsmen Thursday in Abuja, the APC chieftain said the party would work hard to achieve success in the general elections without dismissing anyone.
According to Lukman, the difference between APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties is that APC is grounded in the minds of the people.
Lukman added: “We have made it very clear. The difference between APC in 2015 and Kwankwaso in 2023 is that APC was grounded in the minds of people. You can see for yourself but in the case of other parties, including PDP, what they are hoping they are waiting for us to mismanage ourselves on the basis of which they pack whatever we are not able to achieve.
“Now, the reality is that we are not taking anything for granted. We are not dismissing people. We are going to work hard.”
Reacting to the controversy surrounding the choice of running mate picked by the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Lukman said the leadership of the party considered all the factors before arriving at the decision.
The party chieftain, however, assured that Tinubu will protect the interest of all.
Lukman stated: “You see, my position, which I have always buttressed, is that politics is about contest and managing interests. Certainly, the party leadership will have to consider all the factors before arriving. Arrive with respect to the running mate. In the end, we have to convince Nigerians that Muslim-Muslim ticket or however you look at it does not mean discrimination against anybody.”
Speaking on the ongoing fact-finding tour by his leadership to all the states in the North-west, the national vice chairman said it was basically a listening visit to hear from some of the aggrieved members and also get suggestions on how to unite the party ahead the general elections.
“The key issue is basically the issue of reconciliation. There in many of these staates, aggrieved party members, who unfortunately have lost primary elections we need to listen to them.
“So the recommendations include setting up committees at state level to go around and meet everybody and try to pacify, and that is being done across most of the states. The second issue has to do with complaints that some the people who have left the party are still holding on to federal appointments.
“There are other issues which of course, are very critical and as you have seen, we have reflected in some of the statements we have issued, for instance, the issue of insecurity, issue of unity among party members and the question of mobilizing for voter registration.”