Party, Electoral Impunity: APC Now Where PDP Was in 2007, Says Lukman

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Former National Vice Chairman North-west of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Salihu Lukman has lamented that the culture of manipulating political contests through imposition, vote buying, rigging in the ruling party has reached the point where the  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was in 2007.

Lukman, in a signed statement,  Tuesday, noted that it might grow to the point where almost all APC candidates for 2027 elections might be produced through imposition.

He said with about 19 political parties, the primary focus of all the registered parties is to win elections based on the culture of manipulation of political contests through imposition, vote buying, rigging.

The APC chieftain noted that manipulation starts at the small level of producing party leaders and grows to become unethical political culture producing winners of every electoral contest.

He noted: “APC with all the vision of emerging as a progressive political party is being destroyed. Suddenly, APC leaders, sadly, including President Asiwaju Tinubu have assumed the overdrive mode of operating with hardly any strong respect for internal democracy within the APC. Otherwise, what could explain the current happenings in APC whereby none of the party organs is functioning as provided in the APC constitution.”

Lukman added that manipulation of political contests are the cells or tumours that grow uncontrollably and spread.

He emphasised that once a party produces its leadership through processes of manipulation, such a party would end up producing candidates through manipulation and the candidates would in turn be seeking to win elections by manipulating results.

The party chieftain stressed that as long as political parties in Nigeria are allowed to operate in a lawless manner, the problems of manipulating political contests would continue.

Lukman added that many APC leaders were confident that under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, the potential transformation of the party into a truly progressive party would be achieved.

He said about six months since the emergence of Tinubu, such confidence could hardly be sustained, adding that if anything, what is very clear is that  Tinubu’s commitment to the development of the APC as a political party might only be guaranteed to the extent that the party will give him what he wants.

Lukman added: “It is almost a return to the old PDP model of party organisation under former President Olusegun Obasanjo with the requirement of 100 percent loyalty. Without any attempt to reopen old wounds, the requirement for 100 percent loyalty was responsible for the graveyard silence internally within the APC when Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was proposed by President Asiwaju Tinubu as National Chairman.

“After Dr. Ganduje’s successful emergence, there is also graveyard silence even when Dr. Ganduje continued with the practice of freezing structures of the party. No meetings of organs are taking place almost four months after the emergence of Dr. Ganduje as the APC National Chairman.

“Given such ugly reality, it should only be expected that the culture of manipulating political contests through imposition, vote buying, rigging, etc. would become entrenched in APC.

“Like the case in PDP in 2007, it may grow to the point whereby almost all APC candidates for 2027 elections may be produced through imposition. Unless we want to lie to ourselves, as things are, the culture of manipulating political contests through imposition, vote buying, rigging, etc. in APC has reached the point where PDP was in 2007.”

Lukman, however, appealed to Tinubu and APC leaders to resist the temptation of overindulging themselves with the false belief that they could continue to succeed to impose their choices on Nigerians.

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