The Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Muhammed Lukman, has expressed pessimism that the All progressives Congress (APC) might lose the September 19 governorship election in Edo State if it does not change its style and mode of the campaign.
The Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum argued that a former governor of Edo State and sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole’s “take over” of the campaign was perilous to the party’s chances of winning.
Lukman, in an 8-page statement titled, “Progressive politics — which way APC?” described the APC campaign as a one-man show.
He said the APC campaign was getting weaker by the day while that of the PDP was getting stronger, expressing fears that if the APC does not improve on its mode and style of the campaign, the PDP would retain power in the state.
Lukman asked Oshiomhole to take the back seat, explaining that once a candidate emerged, all party members have the responsibility to campaign vigorously for his victory at the poll.
“As opposed to reconciliation, it is loud drums of war that has taken over the airwaves in Edo State.
“Comrade Oshiomhole has relocated to Edo State and taken over the APC campaign and the campaign is proceeding in a manner that suggests the Edo State governorship election is an extension of the personal battle between governor [Godwin] Obaseki and Comrade Oshiomhole.
“The APC campaign personalised around Comrade Oshiomhole and the candidate of the party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is an onlooker.
“The soundbite from the Edo APC campaign is so offensive to the point where Comrade Oshiomhole appears to be disowning almost every APC member in Edo State between 2016 and now.
“To that extent, it simply means Oshiomhole is disowning himself, which may be why he went on his knee begging Edo people for forgiveness.
“We need to appeal to Comrade Oshiomhole to ‘calm down.’
“This campaign is not about his person.
“More importantly, we need to stress the point that part of the political vision of any progressive is that once elected into government, we commit ourselves to issues of agricultural development, jobs creation, education, health, infrastructural development, poverty eradication, and rapid technological development.
“APC has ruled Edo State since the time of Comrade Oshiomhole as governor of the state.
“Up to today, whatever achievement Edo State experienced under Governor Obaseki, between 2016 and now, APC must own it, just like we should be able to accept some of the setbacks.
“Anything Governor Obaseki is able to achieve must be credited to APC as a party.
“Our Edo campaign should be able to raise the awareness of Edo people that had Governor Obaseki been in PDP, it would have been impossible for him to record any achievement,” he said.