From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former member of the National Working Committee (NWC), Salihu Moh Lukman, has warned of impending rebellion over the harsh living conditions facing citizens.

The former National Vice Chairman North-West also accused his party of shortchanging Nigerians, lamenting that the eight-year tenure of former president, Muhammadu Buhari, was not used in inculcating some minimum standards expected to be respected by APC elected leaders.

The statement he issued in Abuja read in part: “Already, some of the flashes of protests, including the looting of warehouses and trucks conveying food items by angry citizens protesting hunger are bearing some of these spontaneous leaderless characteristics. And because our political leaders are behaving more as overlords, instead of taking steps to initiate engagements and avert such danger, they are all becoming onlookers, watching from their comfort zones.

“As leaders in APC, we must accept responsibility for the present unfortunate reality whereby for the first time we have produced an elected government, which is practically scornful to other political leaders.

“Since the time of former President Buhari, we have succeeded in producing elected governments that audaciously imagine that they can manage the affairs of this country exclusively without allowing permissible consultations as provided in the APC Constitution.

“Even former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, with all his military background, never indulged in such grave undemocratic practice. If, for any reason, during the tenure of former President Buhari, this was the case, why should President Asiwaju, being an Awoist, a democrat and supposedly progressive politician condone and adopt such undemocratic conduct?

“Why should President Tinubu adopt the current unfortunate reality of winding up the APC? Is his leadership of the party assuming the practical form of serving as the Receiver-Manager for the APC?

“If our leaders truly want to earn the respect of Nigerians, having succeeded in getting President Tinubu elected, why should they limit the scope of their relationship with President Tinubu’s administration to only issues of being appointed into positions in his government?

“Sadly, with such ugly reality, APC may have succeeded in producing some of the worst governors in the history of Nigeria. For us in the North, we have produced not only absentee governors, but governors and politicians who now go for lesser Hajj almost in the same frequency they go for weekly Juma’at prayers, all probably with public resources.

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“One of our governors in North-Central is behaving like someone possessed or acting under the influence of some addiction, making scandalous policy statements, only to retract them, perhaps when he comes back to his senses. Painfully, both the party and all our political leaders just watch and behave indifferently.

“One would have wished that the eight-year tenure of former president Buhari was used to inculcate some minimum standards expected to be respected by all APC elected leaders.

“A golden opportunity was lost, the country is faced with so much disadvantaged and a government produced by the APC is unable to put in place a clear policy plan to get the country out of the mess. Depressingly, this doesn’t appear to be a source of concern for most of our political leaders.

“So long as our leaders have access to political offices, they seem to be unconcerned with all the tragic realities facing the country. The conclusion is that our leaders occupying political offices are busy accumulating financial resources legitimately or otherwise for future elections.

“We must caution our leaders, as things are, they are on the verge of self-destruction. It is very clear that President Tinubu’s respect for political leaders in the country is weak largely because of the failure to act as leaders. Virtually, all APC leaders are behaving more like bosses.

“Accordingly, this is now a source of threat with the potential danger of leaders completely losing relevance and unable to command the respect of citizens. Largely, because of inability to serve as leaders, most of our politicians have lost the capacity to be selfless.

“This has produced a situation whereby President Tinubu seems to be contemptuous of all APC leaders and therefore proceed to manage affairs of the country without consultation as required by the APC Constitution.

“The biggest worry is the fact that as it is today, it is difficult to dispute the allegation that APC is nothing more than an electoral vehicle to grab power. Even with that, the objective of grabbing power is limited to supporting former president Buhari and President Tinubu to achieve their ambitions of becoming Presidents.

“All the sacrifices made by leaders of legacy parties that merged to produce the APC have been jettisoned. It is very disappointing that we have successfully created a party, which has won three elections consecutively with hardly anything to show for it other than leaders who continue to manage the affairs of government exclusively in the mode of dictatorship.

“Given all these, any conclusion about APC shortchanging Nigerians can hardly be dismissed. The challenges facing us as a nation, especially having succeeded in producing the APC and winning elections three times, producing leaders who will act as servants to citizens, not bosses, is paramount,” the statement read.