Why the APC chairman should refrain from imposing candidates before 2027

Ahead of the 2027 general election, a former member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Salihu Mohd. Lukman has cautioned the party to avoid imposition of candidates for any elective position.

He said the governing party should learn from the mistakes of the then-ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2007 when manipulation of political contests through imposition, vote buying and rigging were the order of the day.

The former Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) said his advice was based on the confidence of many APC leaders that under the leadership of President Tinubu, the potential transformation of the party into a truly progressive party would be achieved.

Lukman who was the immediate past National Vice Chairman (North West) of the party in a statement, Tuesday in Abuja, expressed concern that activities of the party in recent times are tilting to a point where almost all APC candidates for 2027 elections might be produced through imposition.

Assessing the activities of the party, Lukman said: “It is almost a return to the old PDP model of party organisation under former President Olusegun Obasanjo with the requirement of 100 per cent loyalty. Without any attempt to reopen old wounds, the requirement for 100 per cent loyalty was responsible for the graveyard silence internally within the APC when Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was proposed by President Tinubu as National Chairman.

“After Dr. Ganduje’s successful emergence, there is also graveyard silence even when Dr. Ganduje continued with the practice of freezing structures of the party. No meetings of organs are taking place almost four months after the emergence of Dr. Ganduje as the APC National Chairman.

“Given such ugly reality, it should only be expected that the culture of manipulating political contests through imposition, vote buying, rigging, etc. would become entrenched in APC.

“Like the case in PDP in 2007, it may grow to the point whereby almost all APC candidates for 2027 elections may be produced through imposition. Unless we want to lie to ourselves, as things are, the culture of manipulating political contests through imposition, vote buying, rigging, etc. in APC has reached the point where PDP was in 2007.”