By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr Salihu Lukman has demanded the immediate resignation of the Governor Mala Buni led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) if it cannot conduct the national convention of the ruling All progressives Congress (APC).
Lukman argued that it has become obvious that the Buni led CECPC has made up its minds to be disrespectful to the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari , in conjunction with the Governor Atiku Bagudu led PGF to hold the APC National Convention next month.
The PGF boss position is coming against the backdrop of assurance by the Buni led CECPC that it would hold the national convention of the party after consulting widely with stakeholders of the party across the country.
Lukman contended that the CECPC’s latest position was tantamount to a slap on the face of Nigerians and an insult on party members.
Lukman warned that the more the party continue to allow the leadership of the CECPC to continue to hold everyone captive and refuse to commence the process of organising the February APC National Convention, the more party leaders would have supported the CECPC in weakening the electoral prospect of the APC.
He noted: “How can a statement from ‘a focus-driven, process-oriented political party’, make such a scandalous statement allegedly assuring that a Convention scheduled to hold in February without indicating a date and venue for the Convention?
“If subcommittees, whether for budget or anything are to be set up, to perhaps mobilise funds for the Convention, why are they not set up with just about two weeks to the end of January?
“Somehow, it is difficult not to conclude that the CECPC is intentionally promoting speculations around the APC National Convention by claiming to embark on ‘consultations with party stakeholders to prepare the ground for a rancour-free National Convention.’
“With such an agreement, the responsibility of the CECPC is to go ahead and start organising the Convention. With almost two months after, the CECPC has not issued any notice of the Convention to anyone. Not even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which by the provision of the Electoral Act as amended is required to be given at least 21 days’ notice.
” It is very difficult not to conclude that both the Chairman and all members of the CECPC have no respect for President Buhari, which is responsible for why they are doing everything possible to sabotage decisions validly taken to hold the APC National Convention in February after consultation with the President.
“For whatever reasons, it would appear that the leadership of CECPC are enjoying all the public speculations maligning Governors and some other senior leaders of the party as working to stop the APC National Convention from holding in February 2022.
“This is most unfortunate. The truth must be told, the responsibility of organising the February 2022 APC National Convention rests squarely with the CECPC. At this point, it will be necessary to remind all members of the CECPC and by extension all leaders of APC that part of the reasons that made it very necessary to dissolve the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole led National Working Committee (NWC) was the disrespect for leaders and members of the party, especially by Comrade Oshiomhole, the former National Chairman of the party. It was on record that during the tenure of Comrade Oshiomhole as National Chairman, the recommendations of party leaders and members were hardly considered.
“The CECPC leadership have returned the party back to mode of open disrespect for any recommendation given. It is even worse now given that the CECPC is ready to sacrifice the future of the party. Clearly, what is staring us in the face is that all the bad leadership records under Comrade Oshiomhole led NWC is about to be met and outstripped by the present CECPC. This clearly raises question about political leadership recruitment approaches in the country.
“Unless this is addressed, as a party, APC may continue to change leaders, but the problem will remain. APC, being a party envisioned to facilitate the process of political change in Nigeria, must appropriately use the present challenges to begin to introduce changes to the process of political leadership recruitment in Nigeria.
“However, the first challenge now is to ensure that the CECPC has no option but to organise the APC National Convention in February 2022 as decided based on all the consultations that has taken place.
“The CECPC must be told that all consultations about organising the Convention ended with the meeting with President Buhari on November 22, 2021 and therefore the CECPC leadership should stop lying to Nigerians and APC members.
“The CECPC should also stop claiming that it is waiting for the meeting of Progressive Governors before it takes all the necessary decisions to commence the process of organising the Convention.
“Such a claim is not only dishonest but also taking the support of Progressive Governors for granted, which is why Progressive Governors have been reduced to punching bags of all party members regarding all the challenges facing the party.
“Progressive Governors, like all party members will not associate themselves with any act of disrespect to decisions validly taken in consultations with President Buhari. They will not take the responsibility of actions or inactions of the CECPC. Every responsibility of organising the Convention is vested with the CECPC.’