Dr. Salihu Lukman, the Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum, has confirmed his resignation from the position, saying it was in the best interest of the All Progressives Congress.
Lukman, who was rumoured to have tendered his resignation on Monday, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said that he resigned to enable him continue his campaign to return the APC to its founding vision, adding that his sudden resignation will not affect the campaign.
He said: “My decision to resign my position is to enable me 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.
“Since the news filtered out on Monday, January 17, about my resignation as Director-General of PGF, many party leaders, friends, family members and well wishers have reached out to me with words of support and encouragement.
“Many people, especially journalists wanted confirmation. I can confirm that it is true; I have given my resignation to forum chairman, Gov. Atiku Bagudu.
“I restrained myself from making any public statement on the matter because I am still awaiting acceptance.”
Lukman said he had however privately confirmed his resignation to party leaders, friends and family members who called him to enquire.
He noted that since the buildup to 2019 general elections, internal contest in the APC began to degenerate as some of its leaders became intolerant.
He said every campaign to get the party’s leadership to commence the process of internal reform was resisted.
This, he said, was especially as some party leaders in the bid to emerge as its candidates for offices, became hostile while party campaigns drifted to almost war situations in many instances.
Lukman said: “Organs of the party stopped meetings as required by the Constitution, views of party leaders became decisions of the party.
“Thank God, we have a leader in President Muhammadu Buhari who disagreed with what is going on in the party and support the campaign for reform.
“Without going into all the details, the inspiration to setup the current Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) came from Buhari based on the expectation of ensuring that the drift in the party is arrested.
“This is expected to produce a new leadership, which should emerge at the party’s National Convention.”
He added that once the CECPC began to show signs of reluctance to organise the convention, it should be a source of concern to all party members desirous of reform.
He said following the news of his resignation, many of the party’s leaders and members, including the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, called to express worries.
He said: “One of the party leaders who honoured me with an invitation to meet him late on Tuesday, January 17, was Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“He commended me for championing the campaigns to reform the party and expressed shock that some members of forum were intolerant to criticism.
“He encouraged me to continue with my campaign, which is what the party need.”
Lukman added that while it was good that the party’s CECPC had announced February 26 as date for the convention, party leaders should ensure that those who emerged from the exercise were tolerant to criticism.
He said: “The next task before all party leaders is to ensure the new leadership of the party to emerge from the National Convention will be tolerant to criticism, democratic and more importantly share the commitments of the founding leaders to build a truly progressive party.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PGF is an umbrella body of serving governors elected on the platform of the APC.