Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Moh Lukman, said the recent defection of former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode into the APC got most members angry, especially with the by the red-carpet reception given to him.
While calling for calm, the APC chieftain also appealed to party leaders to properly engage in internal negotiations that will guide the process of decisions of what the party needs to do to win elections in 2023.
In a statement Sunday in Abuja, the PGF boss said since APC leader have forgiven the former Aviation Minister, party members too should respect the decision of their leaders to admit Mr. Fani-Kayode and welcome him with a red-carpet reception.
“Almost every member of APC is angry that our leaders have brought someone like Mr. Fani-Kayode into our party. This is made worse by the red-carpet reception given to him, which he doesn’t deserve. But since it has happened, there is no need to cry over spilled milk. What is very clear is that our leaders, especially President Buhari have forgiven Mr. Fani-Kayode and embrace him as one of us.
“As members of APC, our anger with Mr. Fani-Kayode is that he has abused both the APC, President Buhari and virtually every leader of the party. For instance, he claimed that the ‘emergence of Buhari in 2015 annihilated Nigeria and plunged her into darkness, death and destruction. He came to steal, kill and destroy and for the last disastrous 5 years that is all he has done.’ More than this, he has said unprintable things against the APC and all its leaders.
“At this point therefore, if with all these, our leaders can accept Mr. Fani-Kayode into the party, APC members should not be more Catholic than the Pope. Why should APC members be sad that our leaders are magnanimous? Perhaps, because of the red-carpet reception, which many committed APC members cannot even dream of, it should be legitimate to feel unappreciated like Mr. Igbokwe had cried out.
“But as APC members, especially those that have been in the party since its formation in 2013 and have endured all the challenges of being loyal members, we must always be reminded that our commitment is to contribute in whatever way and manner possible to change Nigeria for the better. If therefore, someone like Mr. Fani-Kayode, who is considered unreliable and therefore not qualified to be a member, would seek for forgiveness from our leaders, based on which they extended their arms to him, members of the APC should also show understanding.”
Aaccording to Lukman, part of the frustration of many APC members is that most times, it could be predicted that APC leaders are wrongly investing trust and confidence on wrong people.
“Contrastingly, those who are consistent and loyal to our party and our leaders hardly gained the deserving respect they should have. This may not necessarily be intended but it is there.”
On how the APC could manage internal negotiations to agree on substantive details that can guide the process of decisions of what the party needs to do to win elections in 2023, the APC chieftain said a major issue in this respect is the question of what will guide the emergence of APC Presidential Candidate for 2023 elections.
Lukman appealled to party leaders to quietly negotiate what he described as ‘sensitive matter’ within the structures of APC.
“It is worrisome when some of leaders of our party partner with some PDP leaders to start public advocacy for power shift. Once APC leaders form partnership with PDP leaders to force a decision on a matter that a competent organ of the party is expected to decide, will suggest loss of confidence. Besides, what will be the morality of partnership with leaders of PDP who are decidedly in opposition against our party?
“Negotiating a number of these issues will require tolerance and strong commitment by our leaders. It must be acknowledged that it is not going to be an easy negotiation. Part of the challenge also is the distraction from all the pressure from Nigerians. Leaders must be leaders by being able to withstand all the public pressure. Of course, most of the public pressure is also emanating out of some of our contemporary challenges as a nation. This include problems of insecurity on account of banditry and insurgency, which sadly is further widening all the fault lines of the country.
“Therefore, in addition to the question of who the Presidential Candidate of APC will be and from which part of the country he/she will come from, specific issues that can unite Nigerians must be identified by our leaders and make them issues for the 2023 campaigns.
“APC leaders have demonstrated that nothing is impossible in Nigeria politics. With commitment and skilful negotiations, every desirable proposal can be achieved. That was the motivation for the successful merger of 2013. It was the driving factor for the successful defeat of PDP in 2015. It was similarly the reason why APC is coming out of a major leadership crisis successfully as a united party.
“APC leaders need to remain confident, committed and go into negotiation on all the issues around 2023. The same attitude that guided all the success of the party since 2013 can guide our party to victory in 2023!”