By Clifford Ndujihe
SECOND Republic Politician and one of the founders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Guy Ikokwu, has commended leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for closing their door to defectors, who were trooping to the party from the PDP and other parties.
Ikokwu, who is also the President of Pan Ndigbo Forum (PNF) said the advice is in order and will enhance democracy.
Since the PDP lost the March 28 presidential polls and most of the governorship and legislative seats at the state and federal levels, a host of PDP stalwarts had been defecting to the APC in droves with their supporters.
President-elect, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), last week said those defecting to the APC would not be considered for appointment. The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement, spoke in like manner and advised those leaving the PDP for the APC to remain where they are.
His take on APC’s stand: Report from the APC Committee as elaborated by their Media Director Alhaji Lai Mohammed revealed that the president-elect, the party chairman and the party leaders are not in favour of any more embrace with political defectors who were referred to as fair weather collaborators.
Fair weather collaborators
They advised that such charlatans should remain in their parties and offer constructive opposition and suggestions for the improvement of the polity and good governance. Otherwise they advised such people to abandon politics and sort out their ambitions in the pursuit of private businesses or enterprises.
This advice means very well for the enhancement of the tenets of democracy in Nigeria. It should be noted that the APC at the moment has a full house made up of former proponents of various political parties such as the CPC, ACN, ANPP, APGA and the many PDP (defectors). The party has a manifesto and the country has now given it time to manifest the essential ingredients of their election manifesto. Good governance is an essential attribute of the consolidation of the Nigerian democracy.
‘As a matter of principle, most Nigerians would wish the APC the fortitude to consolidate on this exercise. It is gratifying to note that the issue of governance is not new to the various proponents within the party as most of them have been in governance at the state and local government levels in most parts of the country.
How PDP can be rejuvenated
In the case of the PDP, which has been in power at the federal and many states levels, it has to do a lot of research into the activities of the various organs of the party, and of the various personalities, leaders and godfathers within the party in the last 16 years.
It is the view of many observers that one of the lapses of the PDP as a mammoth political organization was the critical issue of internal democracy. It is the lack of internal democracy in many states that balkanized the party into other splinter/smaller parties such as APGA, Accord, Labour and so on.
The new PDP has to formulate new tenets of political discipline research of the regulations of the party constitution and the observance of the civic rights and responsibilities of its members and stake holders however small they maybe.
APC can’t ignore any section of the country: Sections of the Nigerian Constitution guarantee the observance of federal character and zonal and state representations in political, ministerial, civil service, public service and institutional directorships across the country.
Since the issue of good governance is at the top of the new democratic agenda, the APC at the federal government and the other parties at the state government levels should ensure that the representation of states or zones for the purpose of achieving a spread or national character can be obtained by the appointment of persons who are not necessarily political stalwarts but are either technocrats or seasoned professionals who can deliver in an objective manner to the development of the country. An example maybe given of the appointments of persons like Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Late Prof. Dora Akunyili, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Prof Barth Nnaji, Arc. Mike Onolememen, Prof. Chinedu Nebo and many others in the past years who had played very remarkable roles in some aspects of the developments of our nation in recent time.
A measure of continuity
The new administration should ensure that there is some measure of continuity in the developmental agenda of recent times. With the current depreciation in the price of crude oil, leading to the devaluation of the Naira by at least 20 per cent, similar to other oil producing countries like Russia, Venezuela, Angola and non-oil producing countries like Ghana, South Africa and Argentina, the current vogue and remedy is for a diversification of the economy. This is a task the PDP and APC’s in coming government must appreciate.
The incoming government must sort out the wheat from the chaff. The transition committee should ensure that the details of various aspect of our developmental strategy should be maintained both at the federal and state levels. It has to be repeated once more that the diversification of the economy from a mono-product culture is best articulated by the immediate implementation of the National Conference resolutions for restructuring the country immediately into a truly federal nation.
Our country developed more when we had Federated Regions than when the military dictatorships used the unitary system on the nation and ruled with Decrees – without fiscal federalism thereby enthroning personal executive civilian governments which are anti-democratic up to this time.
The Abuja conference report has been sanctioned by the Federal Executive Council before the recent elections and what is left now is for the tenets of the conference report to be made into law by the national and state assemblies and for the new states created within each zone to be immediately structured in such a way as to reduce the cost of governance.
With these done, the Goodluck Jonathan and the Mohamed Buhari administrations would go down in history of Nigeria and Africa as the states men and moguls of the new political enterprises in Nigeria and Africa.
The rest of the world is looking up to Africa to grow at a pace seen in China in the last decades.
Like Singapore, Nigeria can move up to the developing nation’s category in the next decade with a growth rate of at least 9 percent per annum. It can be done with good quality education, diversification, discipline and restructuring.
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