A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Salihu Moh Lukman, has described as illogical, the recent comment made by the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, defending bandits operating in the North-west.
The Minister had reportedly said that “bandits operating in the North-west are not terrorist.”
In a statement released to newsmen Monday in Abuja, the PGF boss said the explanation of the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Bashir Magashi to the effect that the procedure to declare bandits as terrorists is yet to be completed would have guided all official communications on the matter.
“To a large extent, this account for the illogical and defensive approach by some senior officials of the federal government to attempt to argue that bandits operating in the North-west are not terrorist.
“With proper coordination in communicating initiatives of government, the explanation of the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Bashir Magashi to the effect that the procedure to declare bandits as terrorists is yet to be completed would have guided all official communications on the matter.
“As APC prepare for its National Convention, issues of the unity of the country and responses to national security challenges should be priorities. Just like election of leaders, how APC want to continue with the task of responding to challenges of insecurity should be part of the agenda of the APC National Convention based on which a decision is taken at the Convention by way of adopting an amendment to the party’s manifesto through majority votes by delegates.
“Once that is done, it will assist the APC, its leaders and especially candidates for 2023 elections to mobilise Nigerians to vote the party. At the same time, it will potentially prepare the party to be capable of neutralising PDP’s toxic politics of promoting hatred with the high probability that it can produce ultra-right-wing candidates for 2023 elections.”
While commending the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for organising a successful national convention, the APC chieftain also challenged the new leadership to probe the mismanagement of about N30 billions raised for the construction of its national secretariat in Abuja.
“It may be necessary to also request the newly elected leadership of PDP under Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to perhaps investigate the management of funds mobilised for the construction of the 12-storey PDP National Secretariat located on Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja, which is now abandoned as a demonstration of commitment to rescue Nigeria.
“Having mobilised close to N30 billion and expended over N16 billion, a born-again PDP leadership committed to rescuing Nigeria should be able to fix its internal problems first. Like it is often said, charity begins at home. A party that is committed to rescuing Nigeria should first and foremost rescue itself from its internal adversaries.”
“As much as it should be recognised that PDP was able to open itself to negotiation leading to the emergence of new leadership, to the extent that it failed to take advantage of the National Convention to simulate some internal negotiation within the party about how challenges facing the country should be responded to by a PDP government suggest absence of any commitment to work for a new Nigeria. May be as part of the efforts by the new PDP leadership to start a new beginning, they will initiate new processes of negotiating these issues. If that is to be the case, it will be necessary that the new PDP leaders take their bearing by taking responsibility in terms of honestly accepting their errors when they had the opportunity to rule Nigeria between 1999 and 2015. Anything short of that will expose the PDP and its leaders as being dishonest.
“APC must therefore use its National Convention to demonstrate its commitment to change Nigeria. Apart from electing leaders, the manifesto of the party should be subjected to amendment debate. As part of the commitment to change Nigerian politics, APC must unambiguously commit itself to the unity of Nigeria based on governance initiatives founded on the principles of fairness and equitable access to resources and opportunities by all Nigerians from every part of the country.
“In addition, APC must commit itself to developing the productive potentials of every Nigerian and every part of the country. The issue of national development must be oriented based on clear strategies to develop the economy of every part of the country.
“Issues of industrialisation, human capital development through correspondingly aggressively high public and private investment in education and health sectors of the country must be prioritised. This should mean that commitment of political leaders to issues of development planning must be strengthened, and the Nigeria public service must be appropriately reformed and rebuilt to manage initiatives for national development.”