The Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, has described his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a political party that is no longer functional due to its inability to hold regular meetings of its constitutional organs as provided by law.
He also blamed part of the crisis in the APC on its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, accusing him of being the accuser, prosecutor and judge in most of the disputes afflicting the party.
“The hard truth is that as it stands today, APC is not a functional political party. None of its organs at any level is meeting as provided in the party’s constitution.
‘’It is even debatable if our membership register exists. At best, it will be the same old 2015 membership register,” he said, yesterday.
Efforts to reach Oshiomhole for reaction, last night, proved abortive, as his mobile phone could not be accessed.
In a lengthy memo to the Chief Bisi Akande-led APC National Reconciliation Committee, Lukman also traced the genesis of the crisis in the party to the processes leading to the 2015 general election.
He said: “Part of the components of the contributions of the APC to Nigeria’s democracy include that the problem of imposition of candidates in elections were minimised considerably within the APC, at least in the 2015 elections. Unfortunately, that is where our problems started.
“Contestants in party primary election failed to develop the needed sportsmanship to accept results. The old habits of aspiring candidates taking over leadership structures of the party and through that therefore predetermining results of the primary elections remained the case.”
While he contended that the procedure for maintaining party discipline had been so cheapened, to the extent that the national chairman dominates the whole process, the PGF DG also blamed the chairman for surrounding himself with those he described as sycophants, who he said are mostly from Edo State.
“The crisis in the party is clearly getting worse and worse by the day. It has gotten to a stage whereby the competence of members of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC to provide needed leadership to ensure victory in every election has been eroded.
“We can win election and on account of some inabilities to competently manage legal challenges associated with nomination of candidates, we are compelled to surrender victory to our opponents. This is the narrative of the Supreme Court judgement of February 13, 2020, in respect of November 16, 2019, Bayelsa elections. It was also the case with the May 24, 2019, Supreme Court nullification of the election of all APC candidates in the 2019 elections in Zamfara State.
“In other words, our NWC can be described as a very efficient Trojan horse that opens the backdoor for electoral victory to our political opponents. It is really unfortunate that we are faced with all the avoidable electoral tragedies, all because our NWC has decided to abdicate its responsibility. This is quite disheartening and certainly beyond any expectation.
“How can all these be happening under the watch of Comrade Oshiohmole as the National Chairman? Comrade Oshiomhole’s leadership credentials cannot be disputed. But given what is going on now in APC under his watch, it is very clear that he is not that same Comrade Oshiomhole that was an inspiring union leader who competently handled all organisational leadership challenges to the admiration of Nigerians.
“Part of the problem now is that he is surrounded by sycophants mainly from Edo State. Any attempt to help him through objective advice is condemned as betrayal especially when such advice comes from people who were close to him. Many of those who claimed now to be his supporters and loyalists are people who only relate with him based on his position of power and capacity therefore to influence access to political positions. His success as a leader who is able to direct the party towards electoral victory is never their consideration except if they are the candidates.
“One cannot blame the sycophantic crowd around our national chairman. But I will definitely express my disbelief at the way Comrade Oshiomhole has become all of a sudden, a leader who is intolerant to criticisms. His level of intolerance is so high that any disagreement or criticism expressed against any of his decisions or actions is classified as betrayal and therefore requiring disciplinary actions.
“The procedure for disciplinary actions has become so cheapened such that all the relevant provisions in the party’s constitution are violated. As a result, Comrade Oshiomhole is today the leading accuser, prosecutor and judge in almost all cases where disciplinary actions have been administered in the party. The only probable exception may be the case in his ward in Edo State where he is also being alleged to have been disciplined”, he stated.
Lukman also berated Oshiomhole for his intolerance to criticisms, and listed ways out of the current issues threatening the party.
“With this kind of background, it is almost impossible to start any process of engagement to resolve our problems in the party without addressing the issue of intolerance that is today the main characteristic of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC. This is not in any way questioning the capacity or competence of the Chief Bisi Akande-led APC National Reconciliation Committee.
“No doubt, Chief Bisi Akande is one leader who has all that is required to assist the party and all our leaders to resolve current challenges. In fact, Chief Akande, having led the party, immediately after the merger negotiations that produced the APC in 2013 has everything at stake if the party is allowed to continue to suffer electoral loses simply because our current leaders are intolerant to one another and consequently not able to manage processes of candidate selection within the party.
Obi: You Can’t Speak For Afenifere, Tinubu Campaign Slams Adebanjo
The All Progressives Congress APC Presidential Campaign Council has slammed Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo for attempting to turn the pan-Yoruba sociocultural association into his personal estate and using same to canvass support for the Labour Party LP presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Mr Bayo Onanuga in a statement on Saturday titled “Our Reaction to Baba Ayo Adebanjo and his new Ohanifere Venture”, said “Papa Adebanjo does not speak for Afenifere”.
According to the council, Pa Adebanjo is free as an individual to support anyone he likes, in furtherance of his democratic rights.
“We know for a fact that Baba has turned Afenifere into his personal estate as Acting Leader. We are also certain that there was nowhere Afenifere, as we know it, met and took a decision to adopt Mr. Peter Obi as a candidate for 2023 presidential election.
“We respect the age of Baba Adebanjo but he can not turn Afenifere into his personal franchise for any political alliance.
“We are very much aware that Baba Reuben Fasoranti, the real leader of Afenifere had stated clearly that Pa Adebanjo has always been speaking for himself on many national issues using the name of the group.
“It is our well considered position that Pa Adebanjo cannot appropriate Afenifere. Baba is just an individual who is free to support any politician of his choice. As an individual, he cannot equate himself with the socio-cultural and socio-political organisation”, the council stated.
2023 Polls: IPC Begins Training Of Media Monitors
The International Press Council (IPC), last Friday began the training of 12 Media monitors in Lagos to prepare them for the monitoring of the coverage and reportage of the electoral processes and the 2023 elections by the print and online media.
The essence of the 18-month monitoring that will commence on October 1, 2023, is to assess the level of compliance with professional and ethical standards by newspapers, including online ones, being selected for the exercise.
Among others, the monitoring will be done within the context of the expectation of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, which spells out the responsibilities expected of journalists and other media professionals at elections.
The Media Election Code was endorsed by umbrella media professional bodies and associations, and close to 300 individual media outlets in 2018.
It enumerates what journalists and media management should do to ensure social responsibility and integrity; equitable access for parties and candidates; media access for disadvantaged groups including women, persons with disability and youths; conflict sensitivity and the avoidance of hate speech.
The training of the monitors is one of the activities under component 4 (Support to media) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria-Phase 2 (EUSDGN II) project, being implemented by IPC, along with its partner, the Institute for Media and Society.
The overall goal of the media component is to “Support the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria with the media (broadcast, print and online media) helping to facilitate the key ingredient of credible elections through engagement and professionalism in coverage and reportage of the electoral processes.”
The specific objective is to ensure that, “The Media, including New and Social Media, provides fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of the Electoral Process.”
The two-day training , the first day of which was facilitated by Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Mr. Sanmi Falobi, Project Manager of IPC, aimed to build the skill of the monitors on the processes and methodologies of media monitoring.
“Against the background of the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation especially by political actors, all we are seeking to achieve is for the Nigerian media to contribute to the credibility of electoral information before, during and after the 2023 elections”, said the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade.
2023: ‘Same-Faith Ticket, Blunder Laced With Hidden Agenda’
The Christian Awareness Initiative of Nigeria, CAIN, last Saturday night, said no amount of blackmail would stop a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and an erstwhile Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, from publicly condemning the decision of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for fielding a same-faith presidential ticket.
The Spokesman of CAIN, Yusuf Kanhu, who said this in a statement he personally signed accused supporters of the APC of hiring mercenaries to tarnish the image of the duo.
Kanhu in the statement made available to journalists in Abuja described the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC as a “blunder”laced with “hidden agenda”
He explained: “The decision by Nigerian Christians through the umbrella Association to reject the same faith ticket was not against any particular party but advice to all political parties. Sadly the presidential candidate of APC ignored the advice and picked his vice from the same faith.
“The Christian Umbrella body came out in the first place to reject the idea and challenge Christians in APC to tell their party and Candidate to do what is right and good for the unity of the country.
“Hon Yakubu Dogara and Babachir Lawal respected the call of their leaders and proved that they are not going to betray the position of CAN just to satisfy their belle.
“Interestingly, the APC candidate and some of his supporters instead of making an honest effort to convince Christians and especially those Christians in their party about the reason for their action have chosen to recruit faceless people and are creating unknown groups with funny names to castigate the Christian body and the courageous Christians from their party that are telling them the danger and implication of their ill advised decision.
“We wish to inform the APC candidate that blackmail will not stop Dogara, Babachir, and others from telling them the truth.
“Nigerian Christians know the difference between fake Christian groups from genuine groups such as Northern Christians Youth Initiative with her faceless coordinator Hon. Mike Msuaan Msuaan.
“We can go on to name many hungry people who have not attended any church service in the last 10 years but are cashing on the desperation of the APC candidate to show that he has Christians’ support to start none existing Christian groups to enable them to get their share of the cake in circulation.
“The church in Nigeria and especially in the North knows the voices and names of their genuine leaders fighting for justice which is different from the newly born and newly introduced names that are only speaking to get money from their sponsors.
“Sponsoring fake people and groups to insult others will not correct your big blunder and will only make more Christians accept the fact that the decision has a hidden agenda.”
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