Salihu Lukman, north-west vice-chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has advised President Muhammadu Buhari against using the “succession framework” in the choice of a presidential candidate of the ruling party.
Lukman made his position known, while reacting to a meeting president Buhari had with APC governors on the June 31, 2022.
During the meeting, Buhari asked the governors to observe “changing dynamics” in picking the party’s presidential candidate.
However, Lukman in a letter to the president, today June 1, 2022, asked all party leaders to unite “in showing restraint at this point of transition”.
The open letter stated that: “During the consultative meeting with Progressive Governors on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, Your Excellency unambiguously conveyed the resolve to provide every needed leadership for our great party, APC, to remain strong and united to improve our electoral fortunes.
“Highlighting some of the internal policies, which allowed ‘first term Governors who have served credibly well …to stand for re-election’ and ‘second term Governors …accorded the privilege of promoting successors that are capable of driving their visions’, Your Excellency solicited for ‘reciprocity and support of Governors and other stakeholders in picking’ your successor, ‘who would fly the flag of our party for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.’
“This simply means that you want to exercise the same privilege, which is being exercised by Governors in determining who succeeds you as the standard bearer of our party, APC, for the 2023 Presidential election.
“Ordinarily, this should not be a problem. Both party members and leaders will always trust Your Excellency’s judgement.
“However, the big worry is whether loyal party leaders and members should just reduce themselves to being ordinary observers when very sensitive issues with very high potential to diminish and damage Your Excellency’s revered status in the country is being considered.
“Noting that the current phenomena of poor relations between predecessors and successor governors are largely a product of poorly instituted political succession arrangement in the country, which is impulsive and imposing, it will be highly risky to adopt the same succession framework as it can erode all your lifelong achievements as someone who contribute a lot to strengthen Nigerian democracy.”
Lukman concluded that a level-playing ground should be given to all presidential hopefuls.