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A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, Salihu Lukman, has warned the Leaders of the party to beware of ‘self destruction’ ahead of the 2023 General elections.

In a statement titled ‘determining factors for 2023 contests in APC’ released to newsmen, Monday in Abuja, the APC Chieftain described the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. as a shadow opponent “whose electoral prospects are largely dependent on the outcome of internal contests in the APC, mainly because of the reckless and undisciplined conducts of some APC Leaders.”

According to Lukman, once APC can manage the process of internal contest for the emergence of candidates of the party for 2023 elections such that all those who contested with the winners can accept the outcomes as well as support the candidates, it is possible for the party to continue to enjoy all the electoral advantages associated with President Muhammadu Buhari. 

“How the party is able to manage the process of internal contest is now the challenge. The biggest problem in politics, which compromises both Leaders and members and weaken capacity to provide generic support to candidates irrespective of who emerges is the personal ambitions of leaders for elective and appointive positions.”

While emphasising the need for unity within the APC, the APC Chieftain said: “The first test of the ability of APC Leaders to develop strong unity is when the party organs are able to meet and take decisions. 

“This means very high potential that once appropriate organs of the party are meeting and decisions are being taken in line with the provisions of the party’s constitution, processes of electing standard bearers of the party for the 2023 elections would be acceptable. Party Leaders would also accept the result of the election and support the winner. 

“A factor that may be slowing down the process of ensuring that the Caretaker Committee conclude its work and return all organs of the party back to normal operations is the need for strong unity among APC Leaders, and by extension members. Unity among party leaders is required to come with all the support needed by the Caretaker Committee to complete its work of returning all organs to normal operations as provided by the constitution of the party.”

The statement declared that as a ruling party, the APC has better chances of winning the 2023 elections.

“It is conventional to all democracies that parties in power always have the higher advantage of winning elections. To that extent, APC has all the advantage of winning the 2023 elections. 

“The big challenge is whether APC leaders will take the necessary steps to retain all the towering electoral advantages of President Buhari, which will require first and foremost that the Caretaker Committee is able to complete its tasks of returning party organs to normal operations in line with provisions of the APC Constitution. This should be followed by allowing organs of the party to take decisions, which should be the basis for the unity of all leaders of the party.

“There is also the need to depart from the political convention in Nigeria whereby leaders relate with everyone based on estimation of support or opposition of ambitions to access appointive and elective positions. This create the problem of blind trusts, which in turn can lead to a situation whereby appointed officials of governments controlled by the party are more or less passengers. 

“Once appointed official become passengers, the capacity of the party and governments it controls to engage Nigerians and win public support will be weak. This can produce the unacceptable reality whereby both the party and governments it controls face challenges of bad public image. 

“Taking every step to ensure that conducts of Party Leaders are regulated to conform to minimum standards is therefore necessary to ensure that all appointive officials of APC controlled government are able to develop comparative scorecards ahead of the 2023 elections. APC must take all the necessary steps to ensure that campaigns for 2023 are based on assessment of empirical evidence of performance and not perception.”

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