Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has described as libelous the campaign style of the immediate past national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole.
Lukman said such method will rather make the APC to lose the governorship election instead of winning, even as he called on the party leaders to call Oshiomhole to order.
Speaking with newsmen Monday in Abuja, Lukman who said he was speaking as a concerned member of the APC and not as director general of PGF, noted that the campaigns in Edo must not be approached as a do-or-die affair.
“On the case of Edo, whether with respect to Gov Godwin Obaseki or Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the APC must rise above personality to win the forthcoming elections. But I think to win this election require, just like the message of Mr President, we do things that require that people get inspired to believe we represent their interest for the future and that is why I have a problem with the messages that are coming out of the campaign.
“It is basically almost about libellous statements and interestingly, the flag off of the campaigns on Saturday especially for those who watched it on the channel I watched, several time times when Comrade Adams was speaking, got interrupted by disclaimer messages from the TV station because the statements were too libellous.
“Now, that is not the kind of campaigns that will inspire voters to believe in our party. I think as a progressive party and I feel very strongly about it, and I will emphasize that I do not speak as the Director of the PGF, I am speaking as Salihu Lukman who is a member of APC and a Nigerian, that is committed to the belief that this country and her politics can mover forward and we can have contest without conflicts and that is what is required and that is APC should represent.
“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.”
The APC chieftain said he was 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.
“And for that to happen, 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.”
The PGF boss observed that APC leaders have been blackmailed into adopting a campaign format that compromise the health and safety of the edo people.
“I think the appeal at this point is that if Comrade Adams and what he is doing in Edo compromises the health and safety of the people of Edo, our party should be able to correct that.”
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