Salihu Lukman, former Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), has opened up that he held a meeting with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), after he resigned from the forum.
Lukman resigned on Monday amid the crisis which rocked the ruling party over its convention.
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In a statement he issued on Wednesday, Lukman said he had refrained from making comments on his resignation because it has not been formally accepted by the party.
“I can confirm that it is true I have given my resignation to Forum Chairman, Abubakar Bagudu. I restrained myself from making any public statement on the matter because I am still awaiting acceptance. I have privately responded to many enquiries from party leaders, friends, family members and clarified that it is true that my decision to resign from my position is to enable me to continue with the campaign to return APC to its founding vision, which is to build a party that is not only democratic but oriented based on social democratic principles.”
“Interestingly, following the news of my resignation, many party leaders and members called to express these worries. One of the party leaders who honoured me with an invitation to meet him late on Tuesday, January 17, 2022, was Bola Tinubu. He commended me for championing the campaigns to reform the party and expressed shock that some members of the Forum were intolerant to criticism.
“He argued that any party leader who will not accommodate critical opinion on a fundamental issue such as respecting decisions and especially a matter as sensitive as organising the National Convention, which is the highest organ of the party, such a person is not a democrat and shouldn’t be associated with a party envisioned to be progressive such as the APC.
“With these words, he encouraged me to continue with my campaign, which is what the party need. He declared his support to all decisions of President Buhari to ensure that APC Convention hold in February 2022. Good enough, the Caretaker Committee has announced that the Convention will hold February 26, 2022,” Lukman said.
Lukman said it was President Muhammadu Buhari, who inspired setting up of the outgoing Convention Committee, adding that there were concerns when the Committee was reluctant to conduct the convention.