A former Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (North-West), Salihu Lukman, on Wednesday, announced that Dr Abdullahi Ganduje-led leadership of the party is having a financial challenge.
The APC chieftain made the claim in a statement issued in Abuja and titled ‘Agonising Experience of Being APC Member: Message to APC Leaders.’
Lukman also expressed disappointment that the recommendations he gave to rescue the party from drowning financially were not considered by the new APC leadership.
He said, “Beyond these issues, there are also the problems of funding facing the leadership of Ganduje. At a personal level, I have tried to present recommendations to Ganduje, including a funding proposal for the party. Painfully, I am not able to convince him and the leadership of the party to consider some of the recommendations and proposals. Or, at least, I am not able to get any feedback that my proposal is worthy of consideration.
“As things are, it is also very clear that access to Ganduje is becoming narrower and narrower. In this circumstance, one is left with no option but to conclude that I am only being tolerated. No doubt, because one had summoned the courage to give honest advice to our leaders, including former President Buhari and current President, I only had a remote relationship with these leaders.
“Somehow, many people close to these leaders consider me an antagonist, largely on account of many of the provocative recommendations one had make.”
The development is coming barely two months after Lukman held a closed-door meeting with two former national chairmen of the party, Bisi Akande and Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja over the need to reform the APC.
The Kaduna politician added that without proper reform following the exit of former National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu and ex-National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, the ruling APC won’t be different from the previous administration of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Many party leaders and members expect that the emergence of President Asiwaju Tinubu as the successor to former President Muhammadu Buhari would enable us to reform the party and return it to its founding vision of becoming a progressive party. I wish I could say with confidence that our party is going through such a reform. Sadly, instead of reforming the APC to return it to its founding vision, we are consolidating and emerging as a malfunctioned and despotic party organisation, which is increasingly becoming a replica of the PDP by every passing day.
“I am not making any claim and I am not demanding anything extraordinary. I have attempted to reach out to many people who are adjudged to be close to President Asiwaju Tinubu, in the hope that one can make recommendations that can convince him to prioritise reforming the APC. But access to both President Asiwaju Tinubu, Dr. Ganduje and many of the appointees close to them is hardly available,” he stated.
Efforts to reach the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Felix Morka, and Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, were unsuccessful.
When asked to clarify the claim, Ganduje’s Chief of Staff, Muhammed Garba neither confirmed nor debunked it.
While stating that the party has so far not owed any staff or neglected its responsibilities, the former Kano commissioner of information expressed disappointment over Lukman’s outburst.
He said, “We may not have enough to take care of our activities here and there. But at least, we are doing everything possible to ensure we don’t owe salaries. With the little we make in the secretariat, we are trying as much as possible to improve our revenue generation.
“The APC chairman, even though engaged with Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo election matters at the moment, is accessible to anybody. Even the Lukman you talked about has met him at his residence. The chairman has directed the financial officer should look at the proposal and advise the party. What else does he want?”