You’ve dashed Nigerians expectations, APC chieftain Salihu Lukman tells Tinubu
Former National Vice Chairman (North West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has bluntly told President Bola Tinubu that he has crashed the expectations of party members and by extension Nigerians.
Lukman, in the letter addressed and sent to President Tinubu and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja, urged Asiwaju to address some disturbing signals in the party.
The former Director General APC Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) noted that he had no option than to make the letter public because of the difficulty in accessing him since February he won the 2023 presidential election.
Enumerating some of the expectations President Tinubu has crashed, Lukman listed the APC leadership, choice of ministerial nominees, exchange rate of the Naira and management of policy process as disturbing signals which the President must pay attention urgently.
“The third disturbing signal is the quality of your appointees. Sincerely, Your Excellency, throughout the 2023 electoral campaigns, one of the strong campaign points was that you know how to find talents.
“When it took you more than eight weeks to nominate your Ministers, the belief was that you are taking your time to identify indisputably proficient people. With due respect to all those you nominated, many party members and by extension Nigerians were disappointed.
“It is clear to any discerning mind that political consideration eclipsed any other factor, definitely no argument about talent can be sustained. As it is, both as party members and as Nigerians, our expectation from your government has crashed.
“This leads us to the fourth disturbing signal, which is about the management of policy process. When in your inaugural address you declared that petroleum subsidy is gone, it gave many of us the confidence that you have assumed office ready to take all the hard decisions and initiate measures for accelerated national development.
“Of course, no one expect that process of accelerated development will produce immediate results. But many of us expect that the details of initiatives will be clear and will not be reduced to propaganda.
“As things are, Nigerians are still waiting to know what the agenda of government is with respect to managing the downstream oil sector beyond saving the amount of money that used to be expended for subsidy payments.
“The second issue related to management of policy initiatives is the exchange rate of the Naira. Some of us expect that decisions around exchange rate will be integral part of broader economic policy of government. Now, it would appear that isolated decision has been taken to float the Naira without any clear economic policy.
“The consequence is that the Naira is on a downward swing. Combined with rising cost of transport as a result of withdrawal of subsidy the inflationary pressure on the economy is very high. As a result, living condition is getting worse. At this rate, poverty incidence will be terribly high, beyond any rational expectations.
“These are issues bordering on whether, as a leader, you will be accessible based on which party members and, by extension, Nigerians can influence your decisions as President of Nigeria. Noting that democracy is founded on the principles of representation, it is expected that being an elected President, your decisions should be representative of the interest of Nigerians,” he said.
While appealing to Tinubu to solve the issues, Lukman said: “Mr. President, you need to urgently address these disturbing signals coming early in your tenure. No one should deceive you into believing that party members and leaders and by extension Nigerians are not worried with all these disturbing signals. It will be a disservice to your leadership and to our people if we don’t bring these to your attention. You need to act fast to start correcting these disturbing signals before they become defining attributes of your administration and by extension our party. It is either you correct them, or we sign off any prospect of winning any future election.
“I am confident that your indisputable commitment to progressive politics will be activated at this early period of your leadership to correct all these disturbing signals.
“Both as Nigerians and loyal APC members, we believe in your capacity to provide fair leadership. It is our hope that you are still committed to the founding vision of APC, which is progressive politics.
“And as someone who was in the trenches fighting for democracy in Nigeria, our expectation is that under your leadership, democracy will achieve its representative credentials, based on which the ability of Nigerians to influence your decisions will be high. This is only possible if you take appropriate steps to correct all the disturbing signals arising from decisions taken directly by you,” he charged.