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Salihu Lukman: APC Has Done Badly In Fulfilling Its Campaign Promises

Salihu Lukman says APC’s performance on key campaign promises like security, economic stability and anti-corruption, has been poor.

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Following his resignation from the All Progressives Congress, the Former National Vice Chairman (North West) of the All Progressives Congress has said that APC has done badly in meeting its campaign promises.

He aired this opinion during an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday.

In acknowledging the government’s shortcomings, Lukman admitted that APC’s performance on key campaign promises like security, economic stability, and anti-corruption, has been poor. He admitted that he was hopeful and believed that the new leadership would depart from the practices of the previous administration under President Buhari. Instead, there’s a continuation of the same ineffective strategies.

“I admit that in terms of meeting up with our campaign promises, we have done badly, no doubt about it. And what are those campaign promises? Issues of security, issues of the economy, issues of fighting corruption. We have done badly and people are free to reach the conclusion whether APC is worse than PDP or not. But as at 2023, before the election, I had the hope that because our leaders were not in denial of the challenges facing us, they would be humble enough to admit that we have not done what we needed to do between 2015 and 2023 and that’s what I was practically very very confident that he will not really do business as usual the way president Buhari did.

“Unfortunately, here we are. He’s doing business as usual and as it is, we are going to end up in a worse situation. So to that extent, you might be right in criticising some of us who were in APC and who supported president Asiwaju.”

The former national vice chairman of the APC noted that one of the most contentious decisions made by President Asiwaju was the immediate declaration of the end of the petroleum subsidy on his inauguration day, a move he critisised for its lack of planning and preparation, stating that this abrupt decision has led to a significant deterioration in the country’s living conditions.

Furthermore, there appears to be no coherent plan to address the subsequent challenges, leading to the conclusion that the government is not taking substantive action.

“One of the biggest mistakes that President Asiwaju made was making that declaration on his inauguration day, declaring petroleum subsidy is gone without even sitting down to put up a plan and today, no plan to respond to that challenge. And that is why the living condition in the country is crashing and the government is just ground standing. All of us in the party have become onlookers. We are not able to even access president Asiwaju and influence decisions in terms of what needs to be done.

“From the way things are going, my prediction, which is why I had to act the way I acted is that by the end of this year, if we don’t take time, the campaign for 2027 will start and people will be forced to just queue behind any leader and out of anger, out of frustration, with the reality before us, we’ll end up even electing a worse successor to President Asiwaju and all the challenges of the country will even get worse.”

Lukman also cristisised the government’s major spending on infrastructure projects like the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, while neglecting urgent needs in education and health. He highlighted that the allocation for education is insufficient to address such a critical issue.

“APC was founded on the vision of being a social democratic party. A social democratic party prioritises the wellbeing and condition of living of the citizens. So, issues of education, issues of health, issues of social welfare should have been the priority and that should be reflected in public investment driven by government. Unfortunately, what are the first steps president Asiwaju took? Apart from the fact that on account of corruption, social investment has been suspended, which is why the question of responding to hardship is so weak, also look at the major decisions of president Asiwaju. Spending 15 trillion naira on Lagos-Calabar coastal highway. Imagine if a fraction of that amount is invested in education and in terms of education, we talk about 10 million out of school children in the north. You can not solve that problem by business as usual, allocating a pittance in education and expect classrooms to work, teachers to be recruited, teaching material to be procured with the pittance that is going on now. So you need extra budgetary activities to be able to respond to that and mop up the out of school children out of street.

“In terms of mopping up, the advantage of it is that it will also reduce the vulnerability of the nation in terms of insecurity. Imagine a fraction of 15 trillion naira invested in our armed forces by way of procurement of military hardware, training and talking about even responding to security challenges, we’ve been deviating as a nation for God knows how long about state police or not.”

Melissa Enoch

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