Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman has described the rejection of the bold attempt by former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani kayode to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a clear indication that the ruling party has so many things that rates it far above other political parties in the country
Lukman in a statement he issued Friday in Abuja also described the botched attempt to accept the former Minister as a clear attempt by some APC leaders to manipulate the leadership of the ruling party as a step towards destroying the APC.
Chairman of the Contact and Mobilization Committee of the ongoing APC registration exercise, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state had stated on Thursday that Fani Kayode had registered and joined the party
The PGF DG who emphasized that the APC as apolitical party does not belong to all manner of people insisted that the party must not be an all-comers affair, adding APC is meant for only those with progressive credentials, who should be admitted into its fold in the ongoing nationwide membership registration and re-validation exercise.
He said; “The fact of being successful is what is attracting almost everyone desirous of accessing political opportunities to join our party. No doubt, that is not good. But it must be stressed, it will require strong internal contestation to control that. Again, we are as a party debating the issue of who should join our party or not, represents the qualitative difference between the APC and PDP. If it were PDP, once the National Chairman of the party acts on a matter and backed by a serving governor, members can only grumble.
“I am proud to have my voice guaranteed and affirmed by my leaders in APC. As an employee of Governors, it has been a privileged opportunity to speak out openly on matters within the purview of leadership initiative. Rather than my leaders, including our Governors, relating to me as a subordinate who should only take instructions, they recognise and respect my views as a loyal member of the party. Part of the responsibility that imposes is that we should be able to speak out to protect and defend our leaders and our party.
In a statement, which he titled, “APC and the Question of Values”, Lukman expressed his satisfaction of the position of many APC members and leaders, who joined him to resist the plot to enlist Fani-Kayode as a member of the party.
He also condemned some PDP chieftain, like Sam Amadi, who in his reaction o his position against Fani Kayode stated that “APC has no defined values or defining values. APC is a normless contraption, like Nigeria”.
Lukman noted that “the issue of Mr Fani-Kayode’s drifted attempt to join the APC is a clear instance of attempts to manipulate some of our leaders into accepting membership of someone who ought not to have been considered a member of our party. If that was the case in the past, it is better late than never to correct such a mistake
“Without going into details, the capacity to test a wide range of political options assisted to create the needed confidence for merger negotiations of our opposition parties in 2012/2013 that led to the emergence of APC. It is important to recognise that for leaders of our legacy parties to successfully negotiate the merger, it meant that they were responsive to the reality that without being able to merge they can’t win the election at the national level.
“You can say that the negotiation only produces instrument for capturing power. What is wrong with that? Would you have rather preferred APC or any preferred party becoming a permanently defeated party? That APC is succeeding in capturing power is the reason why we are having this debate.
“It is far more encouraging to engage the debate, on our part as APC members, because the party is succeeding in winning elections if you like capturing power. Is there any successful political party anywhere in the world that is not an instrument of capturing power? If your pain is that APC is emerging as a successful political party, the best advice one can give is that those who are opposed to APC should work hard to produce the party that can defeat the APC”, Lukman stated.