The Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) Salihu Lukman has recommended the immediate audit of the national secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to among others how the party is funded.
Lukman made the call in a statement titled: “Bureaucracies and Political Parties as Pillars of Strong Institutions in Democracy” made available to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.
He insisted that there was need to undertake audit of what currently exist as the party’s Secretariat, its functions and personnel as well as how it is structured to provide services to the APC as provided by the constitution of the party.
The APC Chieftain also recommended that the audit should take into account whether there are: “supportive rules provided for the operation of the party bureaucracy? How effective has the applications of those rules been? What is required to strengthen the rules guiding the discharge of functions of the Secretariat?
“How are the personnel of the Secretariat recruited? Are there standard recruitment guidelines, highlighting qualifications requirements? How can the process be strengthened?
“The third issue is the question of funding. How is the work of the Secretariat funded? Once funding is not guaranteed, it will affect the quality of personnel and also the proposals and recommendations which they make”.
Lukman noted that: “It is very easy to raise these questions but extremely difficult to get them to the level of actionable consideration by our leaders. The fact that as members of APC we can raise these issues present some advantages for the party.
“As far as PDP is concerned these are issues that are foreclosed. As a party, PDP has over the years lived in complete denials of all its internal organisational challenges.
Therefore, the issue of building the PDP as a strong institution is limited to winning elections, as far as PDP leaders and members are concerned. If anything, the lived experiences of PDP confirms that winning elections is not the same as strengthening the party. Even with weaker parties’ elections can be won.
“For us in APC, we must always celebrate the honest disposition of our leaders, on account of which they are able to recognise challenges and take appropriate steps to resolve them. In any case, given the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to APC leader as reported on September 13, 2019 following the judgement of the Presidential Election Tribunal affirming the victory of the President in the February 23, 2019 election when he urged fellow party leaders:
“To institutionalise the party so that when we leave, the party will continue to lead”, as loyal party members, we should be able to appeal to our leaders to respect the wishes of the President by taking all the necessary steps to institutionalise the party, which should be about the development of the party bureaucracy.
“The starting point should therefore be to strengthen the commitment of political leaders produced by the APC to consider rational political proposals and recommendations as well as their implementation, once decided. As Nigerians, we must wake up to the reality that there cannot be a strong democracy without strong political parties.
“Once our political leaders are unable to orient themselves to respect and recognise proposals from the party’s bureaucracy, they will be weak in respecting, recognising or working with proposals from government bureaucracies when elected to office. There is no shortcut to these issues”.