A member of the national working committee (NWC), of All progressives Congress (APC) Dr Salihu Lukman has said that nobody can stop him from pointing out wrongdoings in the party.
The National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress for the North-West, who again called out the leadership of the party for failing to address his complaints on anomalies and constitutional breaches lashed out at the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Lukman made this known in statement released in Abuja on Friday titled “Open Letter to APC Leaders: For the Attention of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu and Sen. Iyiola Omisore,” stressing that he could not be intimidated by his alleged constant bullying and threats to expel him from the ruling party.
The APC vice chairman for the North-West decried that he had been indirectly tormented by the party leadership over claims that he breached their agreement not to subject internal debates to media scrutiny.
He said, “Since the release of APC and Transition Politics on Wednesday, May 31, I have been accused of violating the agreements we reached at the NWC meeting of May 3 to the effect that I should stop media campaigns and use internal structures of the party to make my demands. First, the agreements of May 3 presuppose that structures of the party would be activated to guarantee internal contestations and debates.
“So far, the only structure of the party meeting is the NWC. Even the NWC, since the agreement of May 3, no dedicated meeting was convened to consider all the issues that made it compelling to institute the court case aimed at restoring constitutional order in APC in the first place. As a person, no one, not even the National Chairman or National Secretary being the two presiding officers of the party have deemed it fit to invite me for any form of engagement on the issues I raised, which compelled me to institute the legal action against them and the APC. All I see is return to business as usual.
“A party aspiring to be a progressive party must respect its constitution and at the minimum allow all its organs to meet as enshrined in the constitution. It is not about convenient interpretation, which with respect to the NEC, for instance, is statutorily required to meet quarterly and the National Legal Adviser, Barr. Ahmed El-Marzuq would brazenly and audaciously seek to manipulate the NWC to imagine that meetings of NEC should be at the discretion of NWC. This is the kind of advice you can only get from any member of the legal profession whose knowledge of the law is so narrow and self-serving, which is most unfortunate.”
Speaking further, the former director general of the Progressive Governors’ Forum stated that he can never be cowered nor become intimidated over the frantic attempts being made to kick him out of the party for refusing to align with some ill-conceived decisions in the APC.
Lukman also admitted to documenting some of his experiences in the NWC with the hope that it will serve as a reference point and historical evidence in the future.
“When I instituted the court case on April 27, my objective is to challenge this false and dangerous attempt to block structures of the party from meeting, which can only lead to destruction of the APC. I was determined to proceed with the case even in the face of the threat to expel me from the party. As I highlighted at that time, the NWC had no power to expel me.
“Both Adamu and Omisore, from all available reports, appeared to be animated that I have resumed public advocacy on the need to save the APC and ensure that the structures of the party are given life in line with provisions of the APC constitution. Yes, I have resumed public advocacy because all the structures that should have permitted internal debates are being blocked from meeting. For the record, if you want to resume deliberations to consider expelling me from the party, you are free to do so. I will defend myself publicly to the best of my ability. APC, as a party founded with the vision of being a progressive party, must accommodate debates and contestations.
“Nobody, no matter how highly placed, should imagine that the best way to win debates and contestation is to bully and blackmail opponents. I can guarantee you; no amount of bullying will stop the campaign to return APC to constitutional order. By the way, you are free to expel me from APC, but you cannot expel me as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. APC is not private property. It is a public political organisation with rules, which must be respected. Sen. Adamu and Sen. Omisore can block organs of the APC from meeting to the extent that other leaders of the party are willing to permit.”
“No one can block me, in any way, from discharging my right to engage the issues both as Nigerian and as a member of APC, expelled or not. For your information, I am currently working to document all these experiences, which I will publish, God’s willing so that it can contribute to the body of knowledge in the development of party politics in Nigeria. Whether you respect my right to hold membership of APC or not, I can proudly say that my publications will remain references for anyone who wishes to understudy the APC for the foreseeable future.
“Perhaps, let me also indulge the National Chairman, Sen. Adamu by informing him that contrary to his campaign of slander against me, I consider myself a very successful person. Unlike the lies he enjoys telling NWC members that I was sacked in five places, in all the places I worked, I left credible records, and they are all there to be verified. Respect begets respect. I respect Sen. Adamu and I will not, because of disagreement with his politics, slander his person and his reputation.
“Without doubt, I can confirm to you that I am committed to anything I subscribe to and will always discharge any responsibility given to me that I willfully and willingly accept to discharge. My current position as APC National Vice Chairman North-West is no exception. In discharging my responsibility for that office as provided in the APC constitution, I will do so without fear or favour with the objective of contributing to the development of Nigerian democracy and the APC as a political party registered under the law,” he stressed.