It is important for Nigerian political parties to expand their capacity and build themselves to become competent negotiating platforms in order to produce the kind of quality leaders that the country needs.
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC and former Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum, PGF, Mr.
Salihu Lukman said this in a press statement released to journalists in Abuja.
He said this in reaction to a meeting of an association of emininent Nigerians who met in Lagos to discuss a way to ensure credible leaders emerge from 2023 General election.
It is worthy of note that the association of “about one hundred eminent businessmen, political, media and civil society leaders, including 14 current governors, 13 former governors as well as three former senate presidents” under the aegis of The 2022 Committee, recently announced their presence in Nigerian politics.
Considering that the association is a multi-partisan platform, Mr.
Lukman advised the Conveners to be strategic in managing the political aspirations of the members especially those with presidential aspirations.
While drumming up support for the association, Mr.
Lukman said the group has a lot of work to do to make it more effective than already existing political parties in Nigeria.
“Without any doubt, the capacity of our parties to produce the kind of leadership Nigerians aspire is weak.
Left alone, individuals with strong financial muscles, whose vision may be narrow, hardly going beyond access to public resources would have advantage.
“Therefore, the new political value potentially being created by a group such as the ‘association’ is the possibility of opening the political spaces in the country, including within the current big parties (APC and PDP) to produce higher quality leaders that what would have ordinarily been the case in 2023.
It will require some superior organising to produce such a higher quality desired different outcome, which is why such an initiative require the support of all patriotic Nigerians.
“From all the reports emerging from the meeting, the lists of leaders who attended the meeting gives strong credibility that such a group can influence the outcome of the 2023 electoral contest in Nigeria.
The big question is whether the ‘association’ can have life beyond the initial media noise.
This will require leadership and strategic responses to manage expectations of many of the people who attended the meeting,” he said.
Lukman further noted some areas that the association needs to work on which include internal democracy while selecting candidates, fair national representation, national interest, amongst others.
“To ensure that the ‘association’ is also working to strengthen Nigeria’s democracy, some benchmarks should be set about how internal party processes should facilitate the emergence of ‘quality leaders.
’ For instance, the issue of internal acceptability and how a party candidate emerges based on popular votes of party members or delegates should be specified.
Without pushing the ‘association’ to adopt any standard, issues of how party leaders are united after party primary, role of money (vote buying) during primary, etc.
should be determining factors.
These debates that are not happening in any of our parties, which are desirable if Nigerian democracy is to truly develop.
If anything, it can be argued that these are debates that consciously being blocked by the dominant power blocs in both APC and PDP.
“There are also very difficult issues around fair representation in the country, which is producing all manner of agitations.
The easiest manifestation of this is the clamour for power shift to the Southern part of the country.
Many party leaders across the major parties – APC and PDP are clamouring for this without corresponding initiative to open internal party negotiations based on strategy to achieve agreement.
How is the ‘association’ going to manage complex issues such as this to produce the desired outcome of creating a new Nigeria out of 2023 electoral contests?
“Once 2023 political campaigns in the country are conducted based on honest and comparative assessments of challenges since 1999, it will not be difficult to ensure that the emergence of ‘quality leaders’ in 2023 is based on strong commitment to resolve national challenges.
As part of such a commitment, the ‘association’ must initiate processes of national reflections about the challenges facing the country, with priority focus on problems of insecurity, rebuilding public education and health through mosilisation of massive financial investment in these sectors.
It is good that the ‘association’ has already established three sub-committees on National Security, Economy and Nigeria in Transition,” Lukman said.
APC Chieftain tasks parties, associations on credible leadership