As the debate and counter-debate on the zoning of principal positions for the 2023 general elections across political parties in Nigeria rage on, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Salihu Lukman
, has advised leaders of his party to adopt the same method of negotiation used to determine key leadership positions prior the 2013 general elections that will be based on strategic consideration of winning the votes of Nigerians.
Lukman, who doubles as the Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, maintained that the debate for power shift from the North to the South come 2023 must be handled with care in order not to jeopardize the unity of the country.
He said, “The campaign for power shift, which is about writing or respecting the rules of our parties, should be handled within the structures of the APC. There will always be conflicting interests in terms of who determines how agreements are reached internally within parties.
“The reality of our contemporary development as a nation in this Fourth Republic
, since 1999, is that during the sixteen years of PDP tenure, processes of respecting political agreements within the PDP have been mismanaged and undermined. With the emergence of our party, APC, in 2013, our leaders were able to skillfully handle negotiations for leadership based on strategic consideration of winning the votes of Nigerians.
“APC leaders must return to that 2013 mode and handle leadership negotiations for 2023 very carefully and skillfully. APC should continue to work towards setting the right standards for Nigerian politics, which should prioritise national unity!
In a statement issued Sunday and titled “Nigerian Politics and Question of National Unity”, Dr. Lukman mooted that there was needed for the APC to get the next National Convention of the party adopt a new manifesto, which would highlight major commitments of the party for national unity to be use during the 2023 campaigns.
He added that to demonstrate the party’s commitment for national unity, the issue of how the party intend to handle negotiation for the emergence of the standard bearer for 2023 elections must be handled internally within the structures of the party with all the confidence that principles of justice, equity and fairness can be achieved.
The PGF DG stressed that, “Inability of Nigerian politics to facilitate political negotiations and consensus building is responsible for the current difficulties facing all the geo-political zones of the country.
“The big question is whether the contest for leadership of the country in 2023 will prioritise processes of national consensus building through negotiations and agreement. Will political leaders from all the six geo-political regions commit themselves to implementing agreements that can strengthen the bonds of unity among citizens from the six geo-political regions?
“What could be the details of such agreements? And to what extent could the agreements meet the expectations of citizens from all the six geo-political regions? Beyond which region produces the successor to President Buhari, what will be the commitment of the post-2023 Nigerian President to specific agenda of regional developments of both the region he/she come from and the other five regions?”
In continuing, he said, “Invariably, how will our political parties respond to the challenge of mainstreaming initiatives to facilitate consensus building activities, involving negotiations and agreements to produce the right balance for equitable, just and fair access to Nigeria’s resources by all sections of the country and all citizens.
” Will parties and their leaders take steps to produce leaders from the regions who can facilitate the unity of the country? Or will parties continue to prioritise issues of regional/ethnic politics at the expense of national unity? At the same time, will parties be able to ensure that once there are agreements on issues that have implications for national unity, leaders are committed to their implementation unassailably? Is there even any prospect that the question of national unity will be a major political agenda of any of our parties?”