By Omeiza Ajayi
Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman has again hit back at the National Working Committee NWC of his ruling All Progressives Congress APC, accusing them of operating illegally.
At a news conference Thursday in Abuja, Lukman who said he stood by his earlier statement on the state of affairs of the party, said for as long as the NWC continues to carry on without convening a meeting of the National Executive Committee NEC, its operations would be deemed illegal.
He recalled how the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had in his inaugural speech expressed commitment to ensuring the regular conduct of all statutory meetings of the party.
“I want to say that the request for him to convene a meeting of the NEC is first inspired by his commitment in the first place when he announced his intention to run for the national chairman of the APC. And if you read the speech, he made the commitment that he would run the affairs of the party based on the Constitution. Now, the last time we had an NEC meeting was in August 2018. By the Constitution, the NWC which is today run by Oshiomhole which is an administrative organ derives its powers from the decisions of superior organs. It is supposed to be a meeting to map out strategies in terms of how to implement decisions of the NEC and National Convention would have taken and then meet monthly to review progress and report progress in the next quarter in terms of implementation. That has not happened.
“The issue here is that every day, the NWC under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole continues to run the affairs of the party without convening NEC meetings, it is working illegally”, he said.
I stand by my statement
Lukman also said he stands by his statement issued Wednesday in Abuja in which he had asked the party’s national chairman to either convene an NEC meeting or resign.
“I have not received any call asking me why I did it (issue the statement). Not one, including governors. There is no meeting of governors where the decision was taken on this matters, that is why I am saying that first of all, I am talking as a Nigerian, secondly, I am talking as a loyal party member and thirdly, as somebody who knows the sentiments, everybody is worried. But the truth is that even Comrade Adams knows, once you are on the side of truth, you do not need an office to speak out. The truth is that, must we wait to lose the election in Bayelsa before we act?
“I want to say that all that we tried to do especially with respect to the statement in question is, first of all, we are Nigerians. Two, we are party members and three, I can tell you that as a privileged person, being the DG of the PGF, I am privileged to relate with not just governors but everyone in the party. And to that extent, one can have a feel of the concerns, the worries and really, the frustration that exist in the party. I thought I needed to make this background clarification because I received calls from people asking me whether the statement was coming from governors or from me as a person. Those issues need not even come up. What is at stake is the substance and content. If anybody wants to dispute it, they should look into the content and I think that is the challenge before us. This is what this country requires.
“I remember there was a session I told you that our party, the APC is a product of sacrifice. Our leaders from President Buhari to the leaders of the Legacy Parties that dissolved themselves to give birth to the APC made huge sacrifices and Comrade Adams who I must emphatically say I owe a lot to his person had been with him almost all my working life – he gave me the job that launched me into where I am today – and to this day I believe we share basically the same convictions. And if I say that I am worried at the direction he is taking the party, I think he himself, should be worried because this is not the Adams that really, everybody has the confidence in”, he added.
He asked the NWC to focus on the crisis in the party, especially the fate of its governorship aspiration in Bayelsa state and not be fixated with happenings in Edo as if the state represents the entire country.
“We are living with the danger of Zamfara being reincarnated and a court judgment may later come that we do not have a candidate”.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu did not immediately respond to Vanguard enquiries but a top official of the party said the APC “was reviewing current developments with a view to issuing a robust response later”.
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