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‘APC Should Manage Its Success For The Peace Of The Party And Nigerians

By Isa Abdulsalami Ahovi, Jos
02 May 2015   |   4:00 am
Professor Warisu Alli is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Jos, and currently on Sabbatical at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Management, Abuja.In this interview, he examines APC success in the just concluded general elections and how national offices should be shared by the party to avoid intra party crisis


How do you think the APC can manage the success it recorded during the general elections?
It should be a recognised fact that APC succeeded phenomenally in the 2015 elections, and we can evaluate the success at various levels.

First, they won the presidential election convincingly and President Goodluck Jonathan responded to that victory in a very unorthodox, but highly commendable manner by conceding defeat.

We must put that on record as the entire team is celebrating, not just the victory of APC, but the fact that the incumbent government conceded defeat, which is unprecedented. It has put up Nigeria as a nation that is actually appreciated in terms of the necessity for the consolidation of democracy on the continent.

Another level of the success to take note is the fact that APC would be in control of the Senate, with 61 senators and PDP have 48 senators. In the House of Representatives, APC have 209 members while PDP has 133. At the state level, APC have 22 governors and the PDP 14 governors. It is clear therefore that it is the God’s will for the party.

By and large, the party has managed its success relatively well in terms of responding to the enthusiasm, pervading here and there with high expectations, excitement, hope for a better future which has put the success even at a much higher level than we could imagine. There is a general consensus that APC won and the people of Nigeria are jubilating for the success.

For APC it is not just winning the elections, the party has been very deliberate in terms of its well–thought out comments made so far and responses to the transitional atmosphere. Since independence, no incumbent government has handed over to an opposition party.

So, it has been an in–house matter. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo handed over to himself in 2003, he handed over to the late Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’Adua. But now there is serious intrigue about the whole process and philosophy of transition of government which has become a major challenge for both the incumbent and the incoming government of APC.

I believe APC’s success will be reasonably managed, but the success must not be judged by the victory in our view, instead it should be dependent on the quality of governance that will follow when the party takes over. There is high expectation and that in effect poses major challenge to the Buhari administration that is incoming because people are expecting almost miraculous transformation of the resolution of all the many challenges in the country.

So, we will continue to see how the APC will attend to national issues when they eventually assume power on the May 29. The quality of leadership the party and the President–elect is going to bring on board will be under scrutiny particularly in terms of choice of priority area and policy options.

As you know, in every critical area, there will be choice of policy options that will bring out evaluation of what the government is doing in all spheres of governance. The critical issue of funding is crucial and important.

So, by and large, in a strategy of managing national resources, because there has been a lot of a criticism about how resources have been mismanaged; so many dubious arrangements have been made as public policies for example which only benefit the few. So, all these have to be re–examined in due course.

We all know the importance attached to 100 days of any new administration; so, Buhari will have his 100 days in office evaluated.

By and large, the incoming government has tried to be very deliberate, more technocratic than political, but you know they have to be conscious of the party the administration is coming with, and the broad language that has been the in thing.

General Buhari won the presidential election on the platform of the APC. He is now the father of all, whether they voted for him or not.

How do you think he can tackle the issue of corruption, zoning of offices, and policy implementations among others?
Yes, people who did not vote for him still stay; he is our president and so we must share in the cake.

But, you see, democracy has logic behind it. In the introduction to political science, we will talk about role of political parties and political leadership of any country.

Each leadership is tied to the ideology of the party. His agents, his officials will work in the interest of Nigeria.

That does not mean that somebody who did not vote for APC will now be inimical because the president is for all Nigerians. So, if they are looking for people to give appointment, it should be people who subscribe to their ideological bend of mind.

So, I expect the president-elect to respect the principle of federal character. For example, ministerial appointment, each state is supposed to have a representative in the federal cabinet.

There is constitutional provision for that and I am sure APC will respect that. But that does not mean that giving of appointment should not have an electoral value and direction; instead, it should be seen as contribution to the electoral success of the state where appointees are coming from.

For instance, the North East has all its legislators at federal level being APC and North West already has the president. So, North East should have one of the highranking positions, perhaps Speaker of the House of Reps or Senate president.

North Central has done very well in this election in its support for the party; so, it is supposed to have something very high up there also. Southwest already have vice – president, which is number two position in the country.

Others will have their dues brought to them by federal character. But as far as the economy is concerned, people are expecting the government at the centre to adopt the developmental state ideology for the country in which the economic growth is supported by a means to provide social development.

The developmental state strategy supports economic growth and social development. That presupposes that the state will be in the commanding hand of the economy.

People are buying private jets and so on, but what we have is the widening inequality and this is what you get when you subject the economy and the driving logic of governance to the principles of market–length growth.

We have produce millionaires yes, and we have more billionaires, they are growing by the day, while their wealth is multiplying geometrically.

All these crises, attacks, communal crises, youth restiveness, religious, etc are as a result of non–equality growth which can only be reversed through the adoption of logic of developmental state, a micro–economic development model that will lead to social growth that will address unemployment, create jobs, and enhance the infrastructural investments.

With due respect, how many years will it take to construct East–West roads in the South-South? Look at Lokoja – Abuja road, since 1999, it has been on the drawing board. It can’t be completed.

Honestly, I am hopeful in this government. Security is number one in my focus of priority. Number two is employment generation with infrastructural, social and structural development, power generation and roads.



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