- An insider in the APC has revealed how President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the leader of the country in 2015
- Salihu Lukman, director-general of the Progressives Governors Forum, listed some prominent Nigerians who helped Buhari in 2015
- Interestingly, two of the prominent politicians mentioned are now in the opposition party - the PDP
The director-general of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Lukman, has revealed how regular meetings between 2013 and 2014 by some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led to the landmark victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
The APC chieftain said President Muhammad Buhari himself, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Owelle Rochas Okorocha were in attendance in virtually every meeting held before the 2015 general elections.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, October 26 in Abuja, on his new book titled "APC and Progressive Politics in Nigeria," Lukman urged the APC leaders to return to era of unity and holding regular meetings without criminalise those with opposing views.
The PGF boss also said APC needs to demonstrate its progressive credentials by putting in place a credible and verifiable membership register.
“I can recall with nostalgic feelings that between 2013 and December 2014, President Buhari, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Owelle Rochas Okorocha were in attendance in virtually every meeting.
“The only person who later emerged as Presidential aspirant under the party but wasn’t at such meetings was Mr. Sam Nda Isiah. This was perhaps because he wasn’t qualified as a political stakeholder to be among those to be invited.
“I will continue to remind our leaders that at no time did any of our leader who aspired to emerge as presidential candidate get criminalised. As a very junior appointee of the party, some of us even took hardline public positions against the aspiration of President Buhari for instance.
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“But at no time did President Buhari or any of the other leaders who aspired to be the party’s presidential candidate made it an issue. They related with all of us with the full knowledge of our public position.’’
According to the PGF boss, making APC to emerge as a truly progressive party will leaders at all levels tolerate each other and Nigerians at large.
He said the burden before the APC at the moment is to be able to develop the right communication atmosphere, which he stated should make proposals attractive to the party's leaders.
He also called for a credible and verifiable membership register for the party, stressing that it will promote internal democracy within the APC.
He counselled that the APC need to begin to develop strategy that move its leaders away from the controlling party structures through imposing leaders in order to select candidates for elections, adding that it is the source of almost all internal conflicts within the ruling party.
Meanwhile, another chieftain of the APC, Dr Garus Gololo, has described calls from some sections of the country that President Muhammadu Buhari should resign as unpatriotic.
Gololo, at a press briefing on Monday, October 19 in Abuja, said those calling for the resignation of the president are enemies of Nigeria.
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