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Democracy, bad as any dictatorship if political parties behave as shadow participants — Lukman

…Asks APC to take responsibility in Gov Uba Sani, El-Rufai’s cold war

Former National Vice Chairman, North West of the All Progressives Congress, Salihu Lukman, has maintained that “democracy is as bad as any dictatorship so long as political parties continue to behave as shadow participants or observers in the business of governance”.


Lukman, in a statement at the weekend urged stakeholders in the APC Kaduna State chapter and national secretariat to seize the initiative to resolve the unfolding cold war between the incumbent governor, Senator Uba Sani, and his immediate predecessor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

Recall, Governor Sani, in his presentation at a Town Hall meeting in the North West State, had raised the alarm over the debt burden he inherited from the last administration, which he put at $587 million, N85 billion, and 115 contractual liabilities.

Lukman declared in a statement titled: “Kaduna State Political Theatrics,” declared that Governor Uba could not insulate himself from the perceived excesses of the former governor.

“The hard truth also is that Mallam Uba was one of his strongest collaborators in Kaduna State.

“The reality was that everything Mallam Nasir did during his eight-year tenure was endorsed and supported by Mallam Uba.

“Certainly, the decision of Mallam Nasir to anoint Mallam Uba as his successor must have been informed by the consideration of their strong personal relationship.

“That shortly after taking over, the two friends are falling apart is most unfortunate and only reminds one of what played out between Alh. Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi and Arc. Namadi Sambo between 2007 and 2010.

“These were very close friends and business partners, on account of which Alh. Makarfi anointed Arc. Sambo to emerge as his successor in 2007. Today, the relationship between the two is still very bad.”

The former Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum maintained that leaders of the party must take every necessary step to resolve the misunderstanding between the estranged chieftains of the party.

“The point is, we need to move away from noisemaking to substantive issues of strengthening governance.

“Without prejudice to all the initiatives being taken by the government of Mallam Uba, the debate about the huge debt profile of Kaduna State must be about strengthening the capacity of the government to resolve the challenge.

“It is not simply about Mallam Nasir vs. Mallam Uba. Already, I have seen young people jump into the debate in a very disrespectful manner.

“We must caution that, as much as everyone is welcome to make a contribution, such contribution must be about what needs to be done to resolve the challenge, which is a function of knowledge.

“After all, we pride ourselves on Kaduna State as a centre of learning. Being a centre of learning requires that our politics be about the application of knowledge.

“My final appeal to Mallam Uba and all our leaders, both in Kaduna State and at the national level, is that we must summon the courage to admit our failure as a political party.

“Whatever could have been the shortcomings of Mallam Nasir as Governor of Kaduna State between 2015 and 2023 would have been strengthened by the absence of a strong functional party structure, which could have checked or at the very least moderated the excesses of Mallam Nasir.

“Those realities are still there today, and if allowed to continue, they could lead Mallam Uba in the wrong direction, whose implication may only become another subject of contestation between him and his successor.

“The truth is, democracy is as bad as any dictatorship so long as political parties continue to behave as shadow participants or observers in the business of governance.

“Like Mallam Nasir once thought he was incontrovertible, if care is not taken, all the current issues about Kaduna State’s huge debt profile may end up only making Mallam Uba assume a similar incontrovertible outlook.

“Praise singers must not be allowed to take over a critical debate that is about the future of the state. Such a debate must not be reduced to the political theatrics of determining the future of the state in terms of only who is right or wrong between a predecessor and successor. Such an approach only stagnated the state in the past.”


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