A former National Vice Chairman, Northwest, of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Salihu Moh. Lukman has described President Bola Tinubu’s Campaign slogan “Renewed Hope” as “Renewed Anger” following the outcry and anger in the country over high cost of living that has led to protests in some parts of Nigeria.
Lukman who was reacting to the recent protests in Minna and Kano against the rising cost of living described it as a wake up call to the Federal government.
This was as he slammed the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Felix Morka for attempting to turn logic on its head by blaming the opposition for sponsoring the protests, even within APC strongholds.
He said instead of blaming some imaginary opposition parties, the APC leadership and government should simply take responsibility.
“If the truth must be told, there is hunger in the land! As a committed member of APC, it is very depressing that this is happening under the leadership of our party.
“Even more depressing was the statement issued by Mr. Felix Morka, our National Publicity Secretary alleging that opposition parties are behind the protests.
“For Mr. Morka to issue such a very dishonest statement points to only one thing – that the leadership of our party has completely lost it and at this rate their political utility value is zero. This clearly suggests that even the old pretences about being progressive has been thrown to the dogs.
“How can we be talking of opposition sponsoring protests in the strongholds of the APC? Both Minna and Kano are strong holds of APC. In the case of Minna, Niger State, APC is the ruling party. Kano is the home state of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the APC National Chairman.
“To suggest that any opposition party could mobilise citizens to protests against our government is already defeatist. The hard reality is that these protests are logical responses to the realities facing Nigerians. If these realities continue unattended to, these protests will spread like bush fire across every part of the country within a very short period. No one should be deceived, these are justifiable protests, which tests the responsiveness of our party, our leaders and above all our democracy. APC and President Asiwaju Tinubu may wish to ignore them at their own peril.
“It is quite heartbreaking that we appear to be almost back in the old politics that characterises military dictatorship. Instead of calling meetings of organs of the party to initiate strategies of mobilising all governments controlled by the APC to coordinate responses to democratic demands of citizens, all we want to do is to criminalise the protests.
“As it is now, the renewed hope agenda of our party has been floated. Like the Naira exchange rate, Renewed Hope is being exchanged for Renewed Anger. The value is becoming more and more provocative to citizens.
“At this rate, all appeals for patience may be simple waste of time given the challenge of survival. Already complicated by worsening security situation in the country so much that Abuja, the Federal Capital has also become unsecure, it is in our enlightened interest both as a party and as Nigerians to put pressure on President Asiwaju Tinubu to do the needful by putting in place immediately a clearly defined economic policy to resolve the situation”, Lukman added.
He said the protests happening in less than a year of the President Tinubu administration, call for urgent response by the government.
According to him, such a response must as a matter of necessity address existing realities whereby prices of goods and services, especially food items are astronomically going up, almost on hourly basis.