APC Betrayed Trust: Lukman slams party’s failures on campaign promises under Tinubu

Salihu Lukman, the former National Vice Chairman (North West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has unleashed scathing criticism on the party, declaring it has faltered in fulfilling its campaign pledges.

In an exclusive interview with Arise TV on Monday, Lukman didn’t mince words as he lambasted the APC’s performance under President Tinubu’s leadership.

Lukman, who recently resigned from the party, pinpointed key areas where he believes the APC has underperformed, including security, economic stability, and anti-corruption efforts.

He expressed disappointment that the party’s leadership has not lived up to expectations set during its campaign promises.

The former APC chieftain said he hoped that the new leadership would depart from the practises of the previous administration of President Buhari.

He said: “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, the economy, fighting corruption. We have done badly and people are free to reach the conclusion whether or not APC is worse than PDP.

“But as of 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.

“That’s why I was practically very very confident that he would 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 criticizing some of us who were in APC and who supported President Asiwaju.”

Lukman criticized President Tinubu for hastily ending the petroleum subsidy without adequate planning, which he described as a controversial move contributing to a notable decline in the nation’s living standards.

He said, “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 grandstanding.

“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 condemned the government’s substantial investment in infrastructure projects like the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, arguing that it overlooks pressing needs in education and health.

He emphasized that the funding allocated for education is inadequate to tackle these critical issues.

“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 the 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 cannot 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 the 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, and training.

“And talking about even responding to security challenges, we’ve been deviating as a nation for God knows how long about (whether or not to have) state police.”

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