The National Vice Chairman (North-West) of the All Progressives Congress, Mallam Salihu Lukman, has called for the leadership of the ruling party to be relieved of his duty in a bid to balance the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
Lukman, who made the call in a statement titled “APC Internal Dynamics and the Future of Democracy,” stressed that the National Chairman of the party, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, must resign to give way to a Christian leader.
The Kaduna politician and activist also demanded the removal of APC National Secretary, Iyiola Omisore, to appease party supporters in Osun following the disastrous outcome of results from both governorship and presidential elections in the state.
Recall that an emotional Lukman was in the news two weeks ago when he appealed to Tinubu to consider taking the internal reform of the ruling party as one of his top priorities.
But on Friday, the NWC member was clear once again on the need to appease Nigerians by removing the national chairman and secretary of the party to balance the controversial M-M ticket of Tinubu and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima.
He also warned that APC needs to recognise that the same religion ticket it provided for the 2023 Presidential election, if not properly managed to produce the desired outcome of inclusivity to broaden governance across all divides, could further widen the division among Nigerians.
“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, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, who is also a Muslim, it will be important that every necessary step is taken to inject a change of leadership for the party so that a new National Chairman who is a Christian to take over. Part of the advantage of this is that the National Chairman could be retained in North-Central.
“There should be no difficulty in convincing Sen. Adamu to resign as National Chairman to create opportunity for a new National Chairman of APC to emerge who is a Christian. For that to happen may require Emergency National Convention because if the hierarchy of the current leadership is to be followed, the successor to Sen. Adamu will be Sen. Abubakar Kyari who is a Muslim from North-East.
Apart from changing the National Chairman, there is the need to also recognise that the case of Sen. 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, Sen. Omisore is more of a divisive factor, which may have been responsible for why APC lost the 2022 Governorship election to a political mediocre whose only qualification in politics may appear to be comic dancing skill.
To save Osun State and bring it back to its old standard of national political reckoning, Sen. Omisore would need to resign as National Secretary of APC, and a new unifying National Secretary elected. Beyond Sen. Omisore, similarly, any member of the National Working Committee of the party who is not a unifying leader in his/her state should be changed,” he stated.
Speaking further, the taciturn politician noted that the Nigerians have come to understand and accept that the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket was a choice the ruling APC and Tinubu had to adopt as an electoral strategy.
He also stated that they were not really surprised the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party and the New Nigeria Peoples Party took advantage of it to mobilise Nigerians against the APC throughout the campaign season.
He said, “Given the divisive campaigns sponsored by opposition parties, especially around the Muslim-Muslim ticket of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Sen. Kashim Shettima, now President-elect and Vice President-elect, APC needs to demonstrate that the politics of uniting Nigerians require unconventional approaches, which goes beyond simple recognition of the dominant groups in Nigerian politics. Over the years, issues of representation in Nigeria were skewed in favour of the three major ethnic groups – Hausa/Fulanis, Yorubas and Igbos. Other groups were relegated to secondary players.
The big question is whether the choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket with Sen. Shettima as Tinubu running mate was deliberately designed 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 will be important to recognise that it highlights the political ingenuity and capacity of Asiwaju to courageously make a choice that deviate from conventional politics to win the support of citizens.”