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Why manipulation, rigging, vote buying, other criminality ‘ll continue in Nigeria elections-APC chieftain

…Decries few people hijacking ruling party
…Says Buhari may be more progressive than Tinubu
From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Moh Lukman, has warned that if internal political competition is not achieved within political parties the current reality of excessive manipulation, through rigging, vote buying, and other criminality will continue in Nigeria elections.
Lukman, in a statement he issued in Abuja, also decried that few people have hijacked the ruling party, noting that the way it is going, former president Muhammadu Buhari may be more progressive than the incumbent President Bola Tinubu.
He expressed confidence in succeeding in ending the madness of politicians reducing democracy to a game of manipulation.
“A situation whereby few people have taken over our party, APC, and are doing everything possible to block internal competition within the party is unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue. This was, and still is, the problem of PDP. It was one of the fundamental issues APC promised to change in 2015, which won the support of Nigerians.
“As Nigerian citizens committed to democracy, we must go back to the drawing board and begin the campaign to reform our political parties in Nigeria to guarantee internal political competition. It is only when internal political competition is achieved within political parties that wider national competition can be achieved.
“Once we fail to guarantee internal competition within parties, the current reality of excessive manipulation, through rigging of elections, vote buying, and other criminality would continue,” he warned.
Lamenting further, Lukman cautioned that; “In the case of APC, it is a troubling reality. Here we are as a party, just coming out of election and very lucky to have President Bola Tinubu as the leader of the party who was part of the prodemocracy struggle to bring an end to military rule in the country in 1999.
“My layperson, or innocent person, expectation was that if under former President Buhari we were confused or unable to achieve the vision of making APC a truly progressive party, under President Tinubu, we should have no difficulty in achieving that. Somehow, it would appear politics has taken over everything and business-as-usual has become the orientation.
“I must say very clearly, I disagreed with President Tinubu’s decision to nominate Dr. Ganduje as the National Chairman of APC, but I respect and accept the fact that Dr. Ganduje is today the National Chairman. I also have strong concerns about the direction taken by the federal government under the leadership of President Asiwaju.
“Under his leadership, we have sadly produced an irritating political reality whereby the North-Central region is marginalised. My fear is that at the rate we are going, with all the lowly rating of former President Buhari, if care is not taken, he may turn out to be more progressive,” he quipped.
“Often, inability of our leaders to accept to engage issues create the unhealthy impression of being antagonistic. This was the sad reality that created the rift between Comrade Adams and me. Inability to properly manage our disagreements with Comrade Adams and resolve them democratically led to all the challenges we had with the Caretaker Committee under the leadership of Mai Mala Buni.
“The challenges we had with the Comrade Adams leadership of APC became a child play under the leadership of Mai Mala. By the time our leadership with Abdullahi Adamu as Chairman was elected on March 26, 2022, the challenges became a jock. Sadly, this reality continues under the leadership of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje,” Lukman noted.


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