BusinessDay

APC convention: Lukman warns against ‘blind zoning’

...As Mustapha, Musa assure youths of inclusiveness

Ahead of the National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) tentatively slated for February, a Chieftain of the party, Salihu Lukman warned against ‘blind zoning’ of positions which is based on loyalty but not competnce.

Lukman who is the Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) gave this warning while delivering a keynote address titled: ‘Rebuilding the APC of our Dreams’ at a Stakeholders Summit organised by the Aliyu Audu-led APC Rebirth Group in Abuja on Tuesday.

He observed that the “blind zoning” which was put in place by the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has become a monster in party administration in the country difficult to tackle because leaders “want people who are loyal to them that can guarantee their emergence as candidates at different levels.”

The APC Chieftain appelaed to leaders of the party to rather search for competent persons -officials who can run the affairs of the party effectively to avoid bureaucratic bottlenecks and legal bobby traps that have had adverse effects on APC.

“My preference would be that leaders have to sit down and look at members they have across all the country. I tell you there are five critical position from our last experience. We need to be very clear about that. The two Deputy National chairmen, any one of them has to be ready to assume the position of National Chairman.

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“National Secretary. First, National Secretary is very fundamental. We need a competent Secretary because without a competent Secretary, the bureaucracy of the party will be weak. Legal Adviser, if you don’t take time, courts will be running affairs of the party. So if you have a very strong Legal Adviser, the party will be protected. National organizing Secretary of negotiating candidate selection process.

“National Publicity Secretary is about communication. Now, if you ask me and I have written severally about it. If you ask me what is our greatest weakness as a party and as a government is that our communication is almost zero. What is going on today, the PDP is having a voice because we are not communicating. They will tell us we are corrupt. These are people who $2.1 billion and shared amongst themselves and they are now have a voice,” Lukman said.

In his remarks, an aspirant for the APC National Chairmanship position, Saliu Mustapha and former Deputy National Chairman of the defunct, Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), assured that he would ensure youth inclusiveness and implement recommendations of the summit if elected.

“As one of those aspiring to be the National Chairman, I can assure the teeming youths who have put this summit together that is work in progress and this time around they will be more involved and they will be given that sense of belonging and they will be carried along such that decisions, policies that will directly affect them, they will be part and parcel of it. So, for me, it is not a thing of worry. APC youths will be well rewarded and will be carried along if given that opportunity, he said.

Another National Chairmanship aspirant and Senator representing Niger East in the Senate, Mohammed Sani-Musa said he was in the race to position APC for the electoral and political atmosphere necessary to ensure that the party consolidate and accelerate socio-economic transformation of the country.

“If given the responsibility to lead the party, I will bring a new beginning to the party leadership and new narration to APC. My ambition is born out of the desire to contribute positively to the nation’s democratic process by ensuring that have strong political structure with requisite capacity to address the challenges we are facing as a party and as a nation” the lawmaker assured.

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