Former National Vice Chairman (North-West) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has called for a coalition among key political figures to challenge President Bola Tinubu in the 2027 elections.

Lukman highlighted the need for unity among the 2023 presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso; Labour Party, Peter Obi; as well as Nasir El-Rufai and former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

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Lukman expressed concern over the advanced stage of ‘state capture’ at the federal level, which has caused political leaders like Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso, and Osinbajo to operate in isolation from one another. In his statement, Lukman mentioned that Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi, Ibikunle Amosun, El-Rufai, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and others have become political orphans due to their exclusion from President Tinubu’s administration, pushing them to the margins of Nigerian politics.

He stated: “Political leaders in Nigeria, notably Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Peter Obi, Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and others, must answer the question as to whether they want to allow their narrow political ambitions to continue blocking the path to the democratic development of Nigeria.”

He continued, “Or, why shouldn’t they aspire to register their names as political leaders who were able to rise to the occasion in Nigeria’s hour of national need by coming together to forge a united political front, which could transform Nigeria’s democracy and reverse the phenomenon of ‘state capture’ that produced ‘small corrupt groups’ of used ‘government officials’ who are appropriating ‘government decision-making to strengthen their own economic positions’?”

Lukman emphasized that while there are some political activities around these leaders, they have not yet shown the commitment needed to build strong political parties capable of challenging the APC and President Tinubu, which is crucial for the future of Nigerian democracy.

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He concluded by critiquing the PDP’s past failures, noting, “What were the failings of the PDP? The failings of the PDP are reflected in the same way today’s challenges are manifesting. If the truth is to be told, whatever were the failings of the PDP in 2015, they were less grievous than what it has become under the APC in 2024.”