Mallam Salihu Lukman, the All Progressives Congress’s National Vice Chairman (North-West), has called for the ruling party’s leadership to be relieved of his duties in order to balance President-elect Bola Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim ticket.
Lukman stated in a statement titled “APC Internal Dynamics and the Future of Democracy” that the party’s National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, must resign to make way for a Christian leader.
The Kaduna politician and activist also demanded the removal of APC National Secretary Iyiola Omisore in order to appease party supporters in Osun following the state’s disastrous governorship and presidential elections.
Recall that an emotional Lukman made headlines two weeks ago when he pleaded with Tinubu to make internal party reform one of his top priorities.
On Friday, however, the NWC member was emphatic about the need to appease Nigerians by removing the party’s national chairman and secretary to balance the contentious Muslim Muslim ticket of Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
He also warned that the same religion ticket provided by the APC for the 2023 Presidential election, if not properly managed to produce the desired outcome of inclusivity to broaden governance across all divides, could widen the divide among Nigerians even further.
“Now that the election is won by APC and Asiwaju, it is important to demonstrate that the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the president-elect and Shettima is simply an electoral strategy. With a National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who is also a Muslim, it will be critical to take all necessary steps to instill a change of leadership in the party so that a new National Chairman who is a Christian can take over. One benefit of this is that the National Chairman could remain in North-Central.
“There should be no difficulty in convincing Senator Adamu to resign as National Chairman to create opportunity for a new National Chairman of APC to emerge who is a Christian. That may necessitate an Emergency National Convention, because if the current leadership’s hierarchy is followed, Senator Abubakar Kyari, a Muslim from the North-East, will succeed Senator Adamu.
“Apart from changing the National Chairman, there is the need to also recognise that the case of Senator Iyiola Omisore, National Secretary of the party has become a source of stronger dispute in Osun State. Unfortunately, rather than serving as a unifying factor for the party leadership in Osun State, Senator Omisore is a divisive factor, which may have contributed to the APC losing the 2022 Governorship election to a political mediocre whose only qualification in politics appears to be comic dancing ability.
“To save Osun State and bring it back to its old standard of national political reckoning, Senator Omisore would need to resign as National Secretary of APC, and a new unifying National Secretary elected.
Beyond Senator Omisore, any member of the party’s National Working Committee who is not a unifying leader in his or her state should be replaced,” he said.
Furthermore, the hushed politician stated that Nigerians have come to understand and accept that the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket was one that the ruling APC and Tinubu had to make as an electoral strategy.
He also stated that they were not surprised that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party, and New Nigeria Peoples Party used it to mobilize Nigerians against the APC throughout the election campaign.
“Given the divisive campaigns sponsored by opposition parties, particularly around the Muslim-Muslim ticket of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima, now President-elect and Vice President-elect, respectively, APC must demonstrate that the politics of uniting Nigerians necessitate unconventional approaches that go beyond simple recognition of the dominant groups in Nigerian politics,” he said. Over the years, representation in Nigeria has favored the three major ethnic groups: Hausa/Fulanis, Yorubas, and Igbos. Other groups were relegated to supporting roles.
“The big question is whether Tinubu’s choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket with Senator Shettima as his running mate was deliberate in order to broaden the scope of political participation and representation in the country. While acknowledging that it may not have started as a deliberate plan to broaden political participation or representation, it is important to recognize that it highlights Asiwaju’s political ingenuity and capacity to courageously deviate from conventional politics in order to win citizens’ support.”