By Deji Abdulwahab
Abuja, Aug. 7, 2020 Mr Salihu Lukman, Director-General, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF), has urged the National Campaign Council of All Progressives Congress (APC) for Edo governorship election to focus its campaign on the party’s numerous achievements in the state.
Lukman said this in a statement in Abuja on Friday, saying that the council should ensure that APC campaign messages highlited all developmental projects of the APC administration of Gov. Godwin Obaseki.
“As part of those steps, it should ensure that APC campaign messages appropriate all development achievements recorded under the APC administration of Gov. Godwin Obaseki.
“In addition, we must take steps to also cut the oxygen supply to Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) campaign, which is presenting our party and our candidate as promoters of violence.
“Our campaign for the Edo election should therefore amplify messages of peace and what we need to do to achieve that.
“Having come out of a very difficult crisis, our leaders and all our party members must be vigilant to ensure that our politics is not recklessly managed as to reduce us to the level of just working to win elections by all means. That is far from progressive politics,” he said.
He added: “our leaders did not make all the sacrifices they made to achieve the merger of 2013 and resolve our last leadership crisis just because we want to win elections by all means, including through violent conducts.
“As progressives, our commitment to winning elections must be about earning the confidence of citizens. If anything, President Muhammadu Buhari should be our model at all times, especially when it borders on conducting political campaigns.
“It is to his credit that he never associates his political campaigns with violence since 2003, which is partly the reason why he could host his political campaigns with mammoth crowd running into millions without any violent incident.”
Lukman said that the APC needed to live up to its name by regulating the conducts of its leaders, especially during election campaign.
“We cannot claim to be progressives and conduct ourselves in an unaccountable manner. PDP cannot hold our politics hostage through the use of violence, and we come as APC, seeking to defeat them through violence.
“After recording much progress in the country by ensuring higher political competition based on which our people are able to vote and their votes count, only to turn around and begin to accommodate conducts of some of our leaders which promote the behaviour that election is about conquest.
“Once, as a party we are unable to check that then we lose our progressive orientation.
“Being progressives come with a commitment to develop our politics and ensure that political development guarantees freedom to elect leaders, which should also promote our socio-economic development.
“We need to be wary at the global trend whereby political campaigns only highlight problems based on a strategy of dismissing governments.
“While recognising that there are legitimate grounds to constantly critique our governments, objectivity would require that we go beyond the convenient boundaries of political sentiments.
“We need to at all times, as progressives, be able to assess our governments to determine whether we are making progress or not,” he said.
The APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, had recently inaugurated the Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje led-campaign council to campaign for the party’s candidate, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, ahead of the Sept. 19, governorship election