The Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu
Lukman, has sounded the alarm that the politics currently being played
within the All Progressives Congress (APC) is characterized by blackmail and bullying.
Lukman, who stated that progressives such as himself who dared to
challenge the status quo especially with the way things are going in
the party with regards to the Edo elections were accused of Anti-Party
AKELICIOUS recalls that the spokesperson of the Senate recently
berated the PGF DG over his comments on the Edo campaign as weak,
defeatist and cowardly.
Speaking to newsman on Monday in Abuja, Lukman appealed to party
leaders to speak up against the bridge of COVID 19 protocol championed
by the APC-led administration adding that the Edo elections should not
be a do-or-die affair.
He further wondered why Edo campaigns was generating so much heat
while the same is not the case in the Ondo state, adding that to win
the state, the party must approach the electorate out of conviction to
earn the people’s trust.
“I am however more worried on the fact that from all indications, we
are having a situation whereby the politics of the party is becoming
polluted by so many acts of blackmails and bullying because even the
statements of Senator Bashiru, I term it as blackmail. Their approach
is to get those of us who are critical to keep quiet. If you don’t
keep quiet, it means you are engaging in antiparty activities. I think
we must summon the courage and say, no we are not doing antiparty
activities but we cannot keep quiet and allow the party to be damaged.
“I believe President Buhari is giving the party the right leadership
to get all the crisis resolved. But for us to succeed and get the party crisis completely resolved, we need a situation whereby the old conflict should not continue to hunt us which is that, it is no longer about comrade Adams and we shouldn’t be dragged back to a situation
where you are either for Comrade Adams or you are against him, and
winning Edo should not be whether we are supporting Comrade Adams or
we are against him. We have passed that stage. This is the time we should work as a united body and to work towards the fact that we are really ready to win the elections.
“I think we need to convey the message and I want to appeal to all our
leaders and I want to convey the message through you; the campaigns in
Edo must not be approached as a do-or-die affair. We must approach it
based on the conviction that we want to earn the trust of the Edo
people to vote for us and I don’t want to labour too much on that.” He stated.
While soliciting for cooperation for the Gov. Buni-led caretaker committee, Lukman said: “the caretaker committee under Mai Mala Buni must be left to work and that is why I thought we really need to put out some proposals and the proposals are there. In allowing it to
work, I think we still need to appeal again that the situation that
was obtained under Comrade Adams must not be allowed whereby the main
business of the party must be all about Edo.
“If you remember especially under comrade Adams, for months
immediately after the 2019 election, everything about the party was
about Edo, the conflict between him and Gov. Obaseki. Now, we are facing the election and as far as I am concerned, it is not about Obaseki because he is out of the party. Our business is now to win
elections. So, let us work as a body but while that is going on, the care taker committee should be allowed to function without the distraction of what is going on in Edo since they have setup a
campaign council, lit drive it. I have raised the issue that Comrade
Adams Oshiomhole should not be the face of the campaigns because we
have a candidate. We already have a model and Lagos is a model and we
can borrow from there.”
On COVID 19 protocol, He said, “You can see, as far as I am concerned,
that PDP is already compromising COVID 19 protocol in its campaign but
how can our government at the federal level correct that if our own
campaigns are compromising that? I thin moving forward, there is the
need, because this is a matter of life and death, if we allow a situation because we don’t want to talk, we are all blackmailed, then we weaken our own government from being able to give leadership to controlt spread of this virus and if it about life and death, we
must appeal to our leaders.
“This is where the presidential task force on COVID-19 really need to
put its weight either to gather with INEC not just to regulate the process but of all other parties that will be contesting the
elections, to conduct the elections based on the respect for COVID-19 protocol. This is part of my worry and I honestly believe if we are to earn public confidence and to get voters to vote for us, and above all, to respect the instruction of our federal government to manage the spread of COVID-19, we must redesign our campaign.”