The Director-General Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, has described the All Progressives Congress (APC), as suffering from “old ambition virus-2023.
Lukman in a statement on Thursday expressing concerns over the leadership crisis that has rocked the Party sought the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and others to stop the party from collapsing.
The statement read,
“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?
“How can a party so blessed with experienced and skilful leaders such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Bisi Akande, Ogbonnaya Onu, Tony Momoh, etc be incapable of resolving the problem of leadership vacancy? With 20 governors and in control of the National Assembly leadership, producing the Senate President and Speaker, 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?
“These are practical questions requiring very urgent response. Every loyal member of the party must be ashamed of what is going on now. Within few hours of the Abuja Appeal Court ruling, our party has produced three conflicting claims to the position of the National Chairman. Sen Abiola Ajimobi, Deputy National Chairman South, Hilliary Eta, National Vice Chairman South South and Victor Gaidom, Deputy National Secretary are all within 24 hours of the ruling presented to Nigerians as acting National Chairman by disputing sections of the party’s leadership. All manner of arguments bordering on legal technicalities around interpreting provisions of the party’s constitution are being presented.
“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 future has been strongly impaired. The carriers of this sickness are confused as to the very reason 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.
“Without doubt, this diagnostic is true. 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?
“What is it that can be done to help our leaders find a permanent handle to resolve 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, Akande, Onu, 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, Eta, Gaidom and their accomplices in and out of the NWC. 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.
“As part of the treatment, it is very clear we need an organ transplant by way of replacing 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 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….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.”