The Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman has submitted that the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should hold as proposed in February 2022.
He warned that postponing the convention might bring more problems for the APC and spell doom for the party in the 2023 general elections.
Lukman made his mind known in a letter on Monday which was addressed to the leaders of the ruling party.
Naija News reports that his position contradicts the earlier proposition from the Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu who had in a letter on December 13, 2021, addressed to the Chairman, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning (CECPC) Gov. Mai Mala Buni called for the postponement of the convention.
Kalu in his letter advanced reasons why the planned National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should not hold in February 2022.
He said the party must first resolve all issues and disagreements resulting from the conduct of the party’s congresses.
The former Abia State Governor added that failure to do this may result in the implosion of the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
But Dr. Lukman in his own argument has now submitted that postponing the APC National Convention could just be tantamount to laying the foundation for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to take over power in 2023.
He argued that postponing the APC national convention is not only illogical, but could lead to a repeat of the 2019 Zamfara experience and therefore urged the party to adhere to the February 2022 date as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Statutorily, by the requirement of the Electoral Act, the party is expected to serve at least 21 days notice of the convention to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“This means that if the convention is to hold any day before February 28, 2021, the notice to INEC should be given on or before February 7, 2022.
“That being the case, the temptation could be to argue that there is more time, some reminders would be necessary at this point,” Lukman said.
The PGF boss highlighted that the Buni led APC leadership has done well since assuming power in June 2020 and shouldn’t allow the postponement of the planned National Convention to become its undoing.
He argued further that the entire APC leadership must look beyond agreements reached in 2014 and 2019 but deploy contemporary solutions to the emerging challenges facing the party and the country as a whole.
“No one should imagine that agendas set in 2014 or 2019 are sufficient to respond to contemporary challenges, which post-2023 governance will be expected to respond to.
“If anything, it may also be important to emphasize the fact that to respond to contemporary challenges facing the country would require massive investment in human capital development.
“This will call for a deliberate and aggressive policy to mobilize large-scale public investment to rebuild public schools at all levels.
“The correlation between collapse of education since the mid-1980s, rising levels of unemployment and insecurity are very glaring,” he said.
He said beyond party affairs and the politics of electing a new National Working Committee (NWC), the APC must look at addressing the challenges facing the country and its people.
“There must be some reflections about the challenges facing the country, with a priority focus on problems of insecurity, rebuilding public education and health through mobilization of massive financial investment in these sectors,” he said.
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