By GEORGE AGBA, Abuja
The director-general of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Dr Salihu Lukman, has called for the review of the party’s manifesto ahead of the general election, imploring the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party to use the national convention to do so.
Lukman also asked leaders of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) to prioritise debate on how to end insecurity in the country at the party’s national convention billed for next month.
He warned that if the debate at the national convention “is limited to who emerges as leaders of the party without addressing these fundamental issues, the ability of APC to mobilise Nigerians to build a new Nigeria would have been sacrificed.”
In a statement he issued yesterday in Abuja, Lukman pointed out that whether APC will succeed or fail depends on how many sacrifices the party leaders are able to convince Nigerians to make, even as he said unlike other parties, the APC must continue to set the needed political agenda for the country.
He said, “As a party preparing for its national convention in February 2022, we must appeal to APC leaders to include debate about what needs to be done by all APC government, to mobilise the support of Nigerians to bring to an immediate end the current national security challenge in the country.
“As a party, APC needs to do everything necessary to refocus national debates towards strengthening the initiatives of President Buhari-led government to produce the desired outcome of securing the country.
“Strengthening the capacity of APC-led federal government to produce the desired outcome, in the short run, is about massive recruitment of police and military personnel in the country, in addition to the investment that had been made towards procurement of arms, including the A-29 Tucano jets.
“In the long run, it is about providing good conditions of service and sustainable funding framework for the operation of police and security services in the country.
“Recommendations that emerge from the Convention should guide the process of reviewing APC’s manifesto. Unlike other parties, including the PDP, APC must continue to set the needed political agenda to drive the process of mobilising Nigerians for change.”
The PGF DG further noted that as a party envisioned to be social-democratic, the issue of massive mobilisation of financial investment towards the development of education and health sectors in Nigeria must also be debated at the Convention in addition to the challenge of insecurity.
He continued: “Having demonstrated political commitment towards infrastructural development in the country, which has led to the revival of rail transportation and reconstruction of road networks in the country, APC must initiate the rebirth of public education and public health in the country through similar massive investment to build new schools and hospitals, rehabilitate old ones, mass recruitment of teachers and provision of teaching materials.
“These are not issues that can be achieved based on the current budgeting structure in the country at all levels. As we say goodbye to 2021, therefore, APC leaders must focus the planning for its February National Convention towards mobilising the support of Nigerians to contribute in every way necessary, including making personal sacrifices to create the New Nigeria every citizen desire.
“The new Nigeria citizens’ desire will be a product of collective responsibility, shared values and sacrifices and therefore guaranteed security and abundant wealth. Success or failure will be practically about how much sacrifices APC leaders are able to convince Nigerians to make,” he said.