Report that President Bola Tinubu is no longer accessible to the leaders of All Progressives Congress, APC, has drawn reactions from the party itself.
A former Vice-Chairman of the APC (North-West), Salihu Lukman, on Monday accused Tinubu of shutting out APC leaders of governance including those who can be useful to his administration.
Lukman alleged this via a statement he issued in Abuja on Monday titled ‘Resolving APC’s Progressive Retrogression.’
“First, the biggest problem many APC leaders have with President Tinubu’s government is inaccessibility. Perhaps, partly because of the challenge of managing pressure from people seeking political appointments in government, the assumption is that everybody seeking to meet the President or people around him will be lobbying for an appointment. Although that could be true in many cases, such a reality shouldn’t produce an indiscriminate barricade.
“Recognising that problems of accessibility are common to all leaders, being committed to building a progressive party, which should idly be mass-based and capable of winning public support requires leaders to be accessible. As loyal members of the APC, and above all, as patriotic Nigerians, we are all here to make the President and Nigerian governments at all levels succeed. Being the father of the nation and the leader of the APC, we will not antagonise him. We acknowledge the courage of the President to make all the necessary decisions.
“But as he enjoined members of his cabinet to debate the wrong decisions of their supervisors, we hope that he will have the large heart to listen to us when we draw his attention to priority decisions he should be taking, not even mistakes, or perceived mistakes coming from his decisions as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Our objective of drawing his attention to prioritise decisions regarding certain issues is to help him to ‘succeed by all means necessary,” he wrote.
The party in its response through its National Director of Publicity, Bala Ibrahim, said Lukman was living in the past, adding that the President is no longer a regular person and could be reached in other ways than physical meetings.
His word, “Even if Tinubu is the President of the students’ union because I was once back in school, there is a huge demand and weight of responsibilities on his shoulder. When you become a President, even if it is for a motor park or road transport union, the question of being accessible is completely inconceivable. You don’t think of seeing the President daily as you used to see him as an individual.
“That is why presidents have aides, coordinators and support staff. You cannot expect to be seeing the President at will as you would see your wife. No, you have already given him an assignment, which takes the bulk of time. If he had opened his door and listened to everybody every minute or hour, he would only be a listening president and not be able to achieve anything. You have to give him time to think, consult and implement decisions that were taken. And you cannot do all these things and at the same time be attending to people every day.
“The reason why aides are appointed is to channel some of these issues to him. If you have any advice or ideas to bring to the attention of the president, look for the appropriate aide that will take it instead of trying to discuss it with the president one-on-one. These aides will table about 10 ideas and discuss them with the president in 10 minutes. We have to understand the situation and the plights of the president.”