The National Vice Chairman for North-West, Mallam Salihu Lukman, has warned against replacing the ousted National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, with former Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, saying the action may upset the zoning arrangement of the party.
Lukman’s warning is coming in the wake of speculation that President Bola Tinubu may have penciled the ex-governor as the next chairman of the ruling party following the exit of Adamu and the erstwhile National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday titled ‘APC: Way Forward,’ the Kaduna politician stated that the move would be the height of insensitivity if it turns out to be true.
“So far, as things are, only the President and Governors blocs are active in the negotiation to produce and engage leaders of APC. Already, part of the speculations emerging from the Governor’s bloc is that Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is being considered to succeed Sen. Abdullahi Adamu. If this is true, it only suggests insensitivity and taking members of the party for granted. This is without prejudice to the person of Dr. Ganduje.
“This is because such a choice will completely distort the zoning arrangement that informed the present configuration of the leadership of the National Assembly. With the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Deputy Senate President coming from North West and North Central shut out of consideration, to propose the party’s National Chairman move to North West from North Central will be unjust.
“We must caution our governors that since the emergence of APC, governors have served almost as the conscience of the party. Any consideration for such an insensitive and unjust consideration of Dr. Ganduje to become the National Chairman of APC must be discarded. If anything, the position of National Chairman of the APC must be retained in North Central. Part of the challenge of managing the current transition within the party is getting the NWC to properly take the driving seat in managing and facilitating negotiations to produce and engage leaders of the party. The NWC must sit up and guide the unfolding negotiations. No single power bloc should be allowed to appropriate the process,” he said.
Continuing, Lukman urges the president to speak up to douse the tension and intervene on time with the ultimate aim of returning the APC to its founding vision of progressive politics.
He said, “This is where the intervention of the President, being the leader of the party would be required to moderate the excessive conduct of any power bloc, especially when such conduct risks further damaging the prospect of returning the APC to its founding vision.
“At these early stages of President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s leadership of the party, he needs to make that strong intervention to guide the process of restoring constitutional order and returning the APC to its founding vision of progressive politics. Progressive politics must be about inclusion and justice and not some blind and insensitive considerations.
“Following the resignation of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and Sen. Iyiola Omisore as National Chairman and National Secretary respectively, there is all manner of speculations as to which way forward. Of course, understandably, most of the speculations, if not all, are driven by interests to control the affairs of the party.
“It is, therefore, necessary that at this very early stage of negotiating new leadership for the APC, we caution all our leaders that the only way we can justify the exit of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and Sen. Iyiola Omisore out of the leadership of the APC is by demonstrating a commitment to restore constitutional order in APC and return the party to its founding vision of being a progressive party. These are issues that would appear to be taken for granted and if not engaged could be abused by power blocs within the party, which could lead to the emergence of leaders that are worse than Sen. Adamu and Sen. Omisore. This must be avoided.”