The Director-General of the Progressives Governor Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman Monday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not decided on zoning for any position in the 2023 general election.
Lukman while speaking with journalists in Abuja declared that APC is now open for anyone or any zone to contest for any election, stressing that nobody can say President Muhammadu Buhari has decided or there is a decision on the party on where it would go.
He assured that the level playing field in APC has been well conceived, nurtured, and now gaining more traction by the day and all aspirants would be treated fairly.
The PGF Boss said: “For instance, everybody could see that the place is open whether you call it with reference to 2023 or reference to any election, it’s about the fact that the spirit of political contest in the party is now very high. It means that if you want to negotiate as a good negotiator if you want to canvass as a good canvasser for a specific interest, the party is up to you.
“The pertinent point to make here is that nobody can say President Buhari has decided or there is a decision on the party, this is where it would go. That Is why in the whole speculation out there in the public, you’ll see that there are so many names that are being put in the public space which means that in 2023 there would be a contest in APC.
“And if you’re a politician, what are you looking for, is it not contest? So you go to where you know that if you play your card very well, there is a 50-50 chance that you can get what you want, when you want it and where you want it. That is the message now which the President has nurtured and popularized in the APC. By extension, it serves a death knell that marks the end of foreclosure in political contests in Nigerian politics. What we are saying is that foreclosure in our political contests is dead.”
Asked whether the level playing field is practicable in APC, Lukman said: “Of course it is enforceable and it is being enforced. Sound politics is impossible where there’s a foreclosure. In APC today, I can assure you that it is not going to be where you can tell there is a foreclosure.
“So this is the attraction in APC and that is why it is significant for us in APC in spite of all the slander that APC is anti-South East notwithstanding all the initiative of the Federal Government in terms of the sound and credible development initiative currently in place in the South East.
“That is why you now see a governor of the calibre, competence, and credibility of Governor Umahi in the southeast saying no, no, where I am there is no justice. He has not said where he’s going he’s guaranteed of justice but he’s absolutely sure that if he plays his card well in his new environment, there is the likelihood that he will get adequate justice.”
He also stated that it is a major achievement for APC to win over such a strategic political asset as the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi who sees the party as a viable platform to canvass his politics as a leader of his people.
“That APC is powerful to the extent that we are able to influence the decision of a nationalistic, progressive-minded, credible, and leading political leader such as Governor Umahi, is a tsunami. And there is more. They cannot run away from the fact that the coming of Umahi into APC is the beginning of an electoral tsunami for our party in the southeast.
“The challenge and this is the point that stares us in Nigeria, we need to change and raise our competitive age because presently we are not competing enough we end up competing for the wrong thing. The PDP had Umahi as their governor, why should they allow themselves to lose him in such a cheap manner. It’s pure management issue”, Lukman noted.