A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has met with two former National Chairmen of the ruling party, Chief Bisi Akande, and Senator Adams Oshiomhole, respectively.
The immediate past National Vice Chairman (North West) of the ruling party made this known in a statement issued on Thursday morning in Abuja.
According to the statement, the former Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) said he extracted a commitment from Akande and Oshiomhole on the need to return APC to its founding vision of progressivism.
Lukman said he met with the two APC leaders and discussed recent developments in the party, including an initiative to produce his forthcoming book titled ‘APC and Transition Politics’.
The APC chieftain said his forthcoming book, which documents happenings in the party and proffers solutions to anti-democratic tendencies afflicting it.
Lukman added that he also met recently with the incumbent National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Ganduje, to present the book to him ahead of the launch of the publication.
He said, “I met two former National Chairmen of APC, Chief Bisi Akande and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. First met Chief Akande on September 18, and on Wednesday, September 28, met Comrade Oshiomhole.
“In both the two meetings, we discussed recent developments in APC, including an initiative to produce the publication, APC and Transition Politics.
“Both the two leaders welcome the initiative and expressed concern about recent experiences which erode the democratic space within the party. In particular, both leaders acknowledged the leadership role of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in resisting an attempt by some conservative leaders within the party to impose a consensus Presidential candidate for the 2023 elections. Notably, they both recalled how many leaders of the APC had to rise against a determined effort by fellow party leaders to undermine the APC’s electoral victory during the 2023 elections.
“While commending the initiative to document these experiences, the two leaders were unanimous that returning APC to its founding vision of becoming a progressive party will require consistent struggle against conservative elements both within the party and outside. It is not going to be an easy battle and would require strong commitment and capacity to stubbornly continue to campaign for the restoration of democratic values within the APC.
“Comrade Adams was emphatic that progressive leaders within the APC must encourage disagreements as basis for nurturing the growth and development of both the party and Nigeria’s democracy. He recalled some of the disagreements we had when he was National Chairman and how my ability to express my disagreement with his positions had defined our relationship since our time in the National Union of Textiles from the early 1990s.
“It was a rare privilege meeting these leaders. It is inspiring, reassuring and challenging to listen to their perspectives about development in APC and what needs to be done to return the APC to its founding vision. My hope is to provoke deeper internal debate within the APC about developing the APC to achieve its founding vision.
“The engagement will continue. APC and Transition Politics will be produced, and hopefully, it will be used to facilitate deeper internal debate within the APC and the future of Nigerian democracy. One of the goals of that deeper internal debate will be about transforming the APC to go beyond being just an electoral vehicle, limited to only producing candidates for elections.
“To become a progressive political party is about being organically connected with Nigerians based on which both the party and governments it produces will be both responsive and representative of the wider interests of Nigerians!”