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APC is collapsing with no leader in charge – Lukman

The Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Lukman Thursday lamented that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is not only having leadership crisis but the party is collapsing with no leader in charge.
Lukman recalled that following the Appeal Court ruling sustaining the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party, late on Monday, June 16, 2020, members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party started making disparate claims as to who is the Acting National Chairman.
“It is as if the party doesn’t have a constitution or those who operate the constitution are either ignorant of its provisions or have decided to set aside the constitution and just embark on a free for all fight. Yet, APC is the ruling party in Nigeria.
“Is it possible for a ruling party in control of the federal government, with President Muhammadu Buhari who is incontestably the moral leader, not to be able to resolve a matter as important as who presides as the National Chairman of the party? How can a party so blessed with experienced and very skillful leaders such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief Ognonnaya Onu, Chief Tony Momoh, etc., be incapable of resolving the problem of leadership vacancy?
“With twenty Governors and in control of the National Assembly leadership producing the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, shouldn’t that serve as a source of strength to be able to solve any leadership dispute in the party, no matter how complex?”, he queried.
Lukman in a long statement made available to journalists in Abuja said the present APC situation reminds one of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s diagnostic of March 15, 2020 when he argued that “we must be alert to another sickness that seems rampant within a certain segment of society. That sickness is old Ambition-virus 2023. This illness afflicts many in the political class along with their allies in the media.
“Those touched by this malady find that their ability to tell time and discern the difference between the present and the future has been strongly impaired. The carriers of this sickness are confused as to the very season our nation now finds itself. They conflate things, which no sensible person would conflate. The primary symptom of their malady is the driving tendency to believe the events of 2023 will be decided before we even exit the year 2020”.
The PGF Boss agreed that the Tinubu diagnostic is true, saying: “on the strength of this prescriptive accuracy, we may need to ask, is APC faced with a cancerous situation? Could the cancer have spread to have consumed all our leaders?
“Somehow, this may appear to explain the state of health of members of the NWC. Virtually all of them may have been infected with the highest degree of the “old ambition-Virus 2023” on accounts of being proxies to politicians that are already in critical stages on account of the sickness. Being proxies, they will do nothing without the approval of their patrons (if you like godfathers).
“With the godfathers in critical stages, it would appear that to treat the “old ambition-Virus 2023”, we must go beyond the members of the NWC. In fact, the NWC members are just the face of the symptoms. The careers of the symptoms are not the NWC members but their godfathers. In other words, it will be foolhardy to imagine we can resolve the leadership problems of APC by solving the current leadership tussle in the NWC.
He recalled that the last time, in March APC when had similar problem, it took the combined intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governors, Bola Tinubu and other leaders to create the temporary reprieve, which was terminated by the ruling of the Appeal Court of June 16, 2020.
According to the APC Chieftain: “Before the intervention of these leaders in March 2020, the controversy around who has the authority to convene a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) given the suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the party was the dispute.
“With the resolution of the problem and particularly since meetings of NEC are statutorily required to hold quarterly, why didn’t the NWC under Comrade Oshiomhole convene any NEC meeting between March and now when the crisis resumed? Wouldn’t it have been possible that NEC may even have pre-empted the current crisis?”.
He reasoned that the NWC members, including Oshiomhole were conscious of the high possibility of the party’s NEC taking steps to apply the right treatment to the “old ambition-Virus 2023”, which may include terminating the tenure of the NWC members responsible for the crisis.
“Termination of the tenure of any of the NWC members responsible for the crisis could mean destroying the ambition of the godfather behind the affected NWC member. Is it why the crisis is lingering and no end in sight? What is it that can be done to help our leaders find a permanent handle to resolve our current APC leadership challenge?
“Can we immediately activate intervention of our leaders – President Buhari, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governors, Asiwaju Tinubu, Chief Akande, Chief Onu, Chief Momoh, etc. similar to what happened in March to resolve this matter? Or, is it that these leaders are also infected by the “old ambition-Virus 2023” sickness?
“The situation APC finds itself is very traumatic for every member. By extension, the inability of the party to find solution to the leadership crisis makes it also traumatic for all our leaders including those of them who today serve as the face of the crisis – Comrade Oshiomhole, Chief Eta, Chief Gaidom and their accomplices in and out of the NWC”, Lukman explained.
Lukman said what makes the situation more frustrating is the reticence of President Buhari in the face of what obviously could damage the legacy he will bequeath to the nation, adding that the President leadership style is required to ensure that the party is managed independently.
He however observed while this made it possible for the exercise of supremacy of the party based on decisions of organs, the “old ambition-Virus 2023” may have weakened the capacity of the party to benefit from the commendable leadership approach of President Buhari.
“Noting that the PDP was largely plunged into crisis by a garrison styled leadership, which is the direct opposite of President Buhari’s approach, our current crisis may suggest wrongly that having a liberal President who provides free atmosphere to the party is responsible for the crisis facing the party. This will be a very wrong conclusion.
“However, the question is, what further measures could be required from the President in order to ensure the emergence of a good synergy between him (President Buhari) and the party? What may be apparent is that “old ambition-Virus 2023” sickness afflicting other leaders as diagnosed by Asiwaju Tinubu in March 2020 may block support to the President to resolve the crisis.
“This is why all leaders who believe they are not infected by the “old ambition-Virus 2023” should step forward to support President Buhari and protect any further distraction and potential damage to his legacy. To such an extent, one would expect that Asiwaju Tinubu being the Chief Physician of “old ambition-Virus 2023”, as well as being that old politically strong ally of President Buhari, whose partnership assisted in producing the APC and ensuring the defeat of PDP in 2015, he will be in the forefront in activating the moral authority of the combined leadership of President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu to resolve the current APC crisis. The combined moral authority of President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu should have involuntarily moderated the conduct of other leaders of the party especially members of the NWC.
“Does the current APC leadership crisis therefore suggest declining moral authority of our two leaders? It is very easy to reach conclusions. However, what is of interest to all party members, and by extension other well-meaning Nigerians, is what will be required to re-energise the moral authority of President Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and direct it properly to resolve current and future leadership crisis in the party.
“May be, for President Buhari, the challenge of resolving the current crisis is not as daunting. In which case, it would only give credence to the illogical mischief that the President is unperturbed and uninterested. This is where the new Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, with his knowledge and experiences should do everything possible in the circumstance to facilitate a complete resolution of the leadership crisis in the party in order to guarantee that the President is able to bequeath incontestable and enduring political legacy. Every additional time the party spent in this crisis will mean the failure of the Chief of Staff and other advisers to the President.
“In the case of Asiwaju Tinubu, unlike President Buhari, he should be more fastidious in ensuring that the party is rescued, and the leadership crisis is resolved. This is because, unless he (Asiwaju Tinubu) is also infected by “old ambition-Virus 2023”, to the extent that he has lost rational considerations as to make him believe that the health of the party is inconsequential in making him emerge as President Buhari’s successor, he (Asiwaju Tinubu) should be very keen in ensuring quick resolution of the APC leadership problem. Should this be the case, it will only go to confirm that either Comrade Oshiomhole or some of the crisis leaders in the APC NWC are acting as proxies to Asiwaju Tinubu” he noted.
Lukman also said what is happening in APC now is a sad return to all the dastardly known political credentials of its predecessor ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which APC is expected to have destroyed, and wondered why should this be happening under the watch of all party leaders who inspiringly led members painstakingly to produce APC and defeat the PDP in 2015?
“With the manner Sen. Ajimobi is being dragged into being one of the disputants, all APC members and patriotic Nigerians must call our APC leaders to order. In particular, President Buhari and all APC leaders who are vested with the responsibility of assisting President Buhari to move this country forward, should focus on directing the affairs of the party towards convening a NEC meeting to commence the process of curing all our leaders of “old ambition-Virus 2023” as diagnosed by Asiwaju Tinubu in March 2020”.
Lukman recommended that: “As part of the treatment, it is very clear we need an organ transplant by way of replacing the members of the current NWC who constitute the problem. By provisions of our party’s constitution, it is only the National Convention that can discharge that function. And it is only the NEC that can convene the National Convention. Any hesitation not to convene NEC and hopefully activate the process of convening the National Convention could suggest that beyond the NWC, the whole party, APC, is infected with the “old ambition-Virus 2023”, all our leaders, President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu inclusive. The first test is whether NEC will be convened or not.
“Beyond President Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu, our leaders, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Governors, Asiwaju Tinubu, Chief Akande, Chief Onu, Chief Momoh, etc., all of them individually, should demonstrate the needed sensitivity and commitment to resolving this matter. APC must not be allowed to turn into a Frankenstein monster that will destroy our leaders and pollute our democracy. The capacity of our leaders to resolve this crisis is never in doubt. The issue is how speedily? A stitch in time, saves nine”.
Source:Business Day
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