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‘APC Should Provide Nigerians With Courageous Leadership’




Comrade Osmond Ugwu, the Coordinator of United Action For Democracy spoke to LAWRENCE NJOKU In Enugu on how Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) could manage the victory of his party, APC in the presidential election to the benefit of Nigerians.

According to Ugwu, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) the president-elect of Nigeria will be duly sworn into office on May 29.

“I know very well from the dynamics of power that governance do not reside entirely on who has been elected, but on all Nigerians including the elected; civil society organisations, political parties, religious leaders, and others.

“In this situation, what Buhari needs to do primarily is to look for Nigerians of various opinions, professions and ideological leanings. People whom he felt are capable and able to help him with whatever is the agenda and manifesto of his party.

“In appointing people into various positions, he needs to be critical of one basic thing; that Nigerians elected him with hope that he will run a transparent and purposeful government. In that case, he must jettison entirely the prejudices of where one comes from or party affiliation.

“Again, putting into consideration the dynamics of power and party politics that has been in vogue where the winner takes all, the Igbo people will be disadvantaged if we go by it. But I want to advise that Buhari must eschew such primitive inclination because though he is a product of a political party, his opinion and decision hold sway and by extension overrule every other opinion.

“He should be able to apply power of persuasion to get his party members appreciate the fact that if the party should make progress after the first term in office, they must run a broad- based government where various ethnic groups and nationalities are represented in his cabinet.

“They should be represented at the critical level where decisions are taken. He should know that APC emerged from the opposition, and that the PDP and other parties are on the stand by to engage it. Clinging tenaciously to the idea of control by the party that has won power would mean losing the grip. It is my candid advice to APC to exhibit serious maturity in the formation of the government.

“On the issue of fight against corruption, Ugwu said it was the basis upon which Buhari was elected by Nigerians.

“I think corruption is a system thing. Buhari should appoint people with good spirit. He should look for people who can handle the duties of offices without getting themselves messed up with the system. Nigeria is corrupt society, but there are many Nigerians who are not corrupt.

“All it takes is the will power to act irrespective of whose ox is gored. It is not an easy to fight, but with guts it could be overcome. All he needs to do is to appoint courageous and serious-minded men and women into his cabinet.

“He needs to come out with necessary legal frame work that will remove every vestiges of sacred cows, immunities and certain obstacles within the EFCC legal framework, especially the issue of plea bargain. If he must fight corruption seriously, he must seek amendment of certain legislations like the EFCC and ICPC laws. There are several impediments to the work of EFCC and ICPC.

“What Nigerians need is courageous leadership and not one that should pretend about its role. Buhari’s activities as Head of State endeared him to Nigerians and should he go below that will mean a disappointment. He should create a special court to try corruption cases. That is what it will take to curb the menace. The delays in trial give opportunity for politicians to hang on to a matter for several years.

“APC should endeavour to ensure that corruption is eradicated in the judiciary system. He will also need the cooperation of civil society groups to achieve this. We have several cases of unresolved murder and killings and it is now left for the
President–elect to find ways these could be resolved,” Ugwu said.

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