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Convention: Probe all aspirants, ex-PGF DG tells APC

A former Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum, Salihu Lukman, has called for deeper scrutiny of all aspirants vying for various offices in the All Progressives Congress.

This is as he argued that APC must look beyond party loyalty alone and strive to produce quality party leaders to ensure quality candidates in the 2023 general election.

Lukman’s call was contained in a statement he signed on Monday titled ‘Political leadership recruitment: appeal to APC leaders.’

He said, “We must appeal to all APC leaders, especially Governors, to recognise that the weight of political responsibility of producing new leaders for the APC is, in fact, a very strong test of whether the party can continue to justifiably earn the confidence of Nigerians.

“Will leaders, especially Governors, undertake the crucial task of performing background checks for aspiring candidates and dispassionately, even if painfully, select both party leaders and party candidates for elections, beyond issues of loyalty? The crucial task before APC leaders is to ensure that the leadership selection process produces trustworthy leaders both as party leaders and as candidates for elections.

“Once party leaders make the mistake of producing Bureau De Change managers as APC leaders during March 26, 2022, National Convention, the probability will be very high that there will be many bad eggs emerging as standard-bearers of the party for the 2023 elections. Already PDP leaders have dug their political grave when for instance they elected people who shared $2.1bn meant for arms procurement to fight insecurity as National leaders of the PDP.”

Lukman argued that the main opposition has arrogantly ignored the foundation of public trust in politics; which explains why, among many factors, it is still unpopular among Nigerians.

He said the APC must take the necessary steps to birth a new orientation for political leadership recruitment in the country ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“As much as possible, situations whereby good leaders only emerge ‘accidentally’ must begin to be reversed in Nigeria based on carefully planned initiatives under the APC. As part of the process of planning for the emergence of trustworthy leaders’ issues of getting current leaders to account for their actions or inactions will be necessary,” he said.

The former PGF Boss said the APC must also zoom its interest in Kogi State saying it is embarrassing that a government produced by the party will demonstrate such a level of “rascality.”

“If PDP can tolerate such public rascality as was the case under for instance the inglorious era of Ayodele Fayose in Ekiti and many other PDP state governments across the country, APC must decisively disown what is coming out of Kogi State under Governor Yahaya Bello.

“If necessary, APC should declare opposition to what is emerging as the governance credentials of Governor Yahaya Bello, including taking every necessary step to save the people of Kogi State from the influence of Yahaya Bello in determining who succeeds him.

“Every step must be taken to ensure that APC emerges as a distinctively different party from PDP and other parties, especially on the question of leadership recruitment,” Lukman added.

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