Rivers crisis: APC leaders must call NWC, Tinubu to order, party chieftain warns

Former member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), Salihu Moh Lukman, has declared that his party is drifting towards garrison politics over its decision to set up a caretaker committee in the Rivers state chapter of the party.

Lukman, in a statement he issued in Abuja, warned that it is either APC leaders call both the national chairman, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the NWC members and President Bola Tinubu to order or the party declare an end to progressive politics in Nigeria.

The former APC National Vice Chairman North-West also cautioned that as long as the decision of the NWC to dissolve all party executives in Rivers state at all levels is allowed to stand, it implies that anyone who allegedly worked against President Tinubu during the 2023 elections is expelled from the party.

According to him; “Something must be done urgently to arrest the current drift towards garrison politics in the name of progressive politics.

“It is either APC leaders take the needed steps to call both Ganduje, the APC NWC and President Tinubu to order by restoring constitutional order and returning the party to its founding vision of progressive politics, which should be about unity of party leaders and Nigerians, or the party can as well declare an end to progressive politics in Nigeria,” he warned.

Writing specifically on the dissolution of Rivers executive committee, he argued that rather than working to unite political leaders in Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi and Nyesom Wike to be members of APC, President Tinubu’s garrison politics will only seek to take advantage of the current division between them.

Hear him: “So long as the decision of the NWC to dissolve all party executives in Rivers state at all levels is allowed to stand, it simply means that anyone who is alleged to have worked against President Tinubu during the 2023 elections is expelled from the party.

“With such declaration, the culture of imposition of candidates at all levels will take over APC. Consequently, elections will not be about the votes of citizens. Winners in elections will only be produced through rigging, vote buying and other manipulative strategies.

“The earlier every genuine APC leader come to terms with this new reality and begin the process of mobilisation both within the party and at wider levels of national political mobilisation, the better for the survival of democracy in country. A stitch in time, saves nine!” Lukman quipped.

Tracing the origin of the garrison politics taking over the party, the party chieftain wrote; “No need to revisit all our ugly electoral past. But APC won its popularity and won the 2015 general elections incontestably because Nigerians trusted the APC when it came with the promise of change.

“Certainly, under the leadership of former President Buhari, both as Nigerians and members of APC, we were highly frustrated that the promise of change didn’t manifest itself strongly such that the problem of imposition of candidates by political parties, especially by our own party APC is minimised.

“If anything, instead of changing Nigerian politics, what we witnessed between 2015 and now is that our promising party, APC, has changed to become PDP incorporated in every respect. If anything, the decision of the NWC dissolving Rivers state executives at all levels confirm this reality.

“If allowed to stand, stage managed congresses will be organised to produce new party executives at all levels who will be loyal to Nyesom Wike, the new APC leader in Rivers state. Accordingly, in 2027, Wike will produce the APC governorship candidate for Rivers State. Since Wike has already fallen apart with the current Rivers state governor, Siminalayi Fubara, the prospect of Fubara coming to APC is foreclosed. Therefore, the strategy of APC in Rivers state for 2027 will be to further fragment the people of the state.

“Rather than working to unite political leaders in Rivers state, based on which APC being an envisioned progressive party will be seeking to unite Rotimi Amaechi and Wike to be members of APC, President Tinubu’s garrison politics will only seek to take advantage of the current division between Amaechi and Wike.

“In addition, Wike will have to incur the political cost of separating from his political godson, Fubara. Even if Fubara achieved all that needs to be achieved as Governor of Rivers state, President Tinubu’s garrison politics will emasculate him,” he chided.