Seemberg News

Latest Nigeria Business News

Musa: Rotational Presidency Has No Place in Our Constitution


Arrangements are in top gear for the scheduled convention of our great party. I have no reason to be anxious. I believe we are ready and we are going to have a hitch free convention that other parties will even emulate. So far, I believe that all the indications for the conduct of the National convention of our party are positive. As you’re aware, the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Baguduhad earlier disclosed after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House that the convention will hold in February 2022. This is enough time for the States that are yet to hold their congresses at the State level to do so. The APC reconciliation committee is also working round the clock going from States-to-States to find solutions to all grievances either before or after the congress. So I am optimistic that we are on the right course, and the convention will be a success come February 2022.

Aspirants for national chairman have been declaring their interest in the position. Is consensus candidacy still feasible as once mooted by the National Caretaker Committee?

In any democratic process , all options are always on the table. You must also bear in mind that consensus candidature is one of the recognized modes of electing the leadership of the party so you cannot foreclose the possibility of a consensus candidate arrangement emerging even at the eleventh hour to the convention.

Why do you want to leave the Senate to become the national chairman?

Well, Man by nature is a boundless entity, the desire to be for everyone is one of the cardinal reasons that sees me aspiring for the head of the All Progressives Congress.
Before I was elected a Senator, I have worked in the public and private sector. I have been a leader in the APC since 2014 and served as a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) from 2019 to date. If you look at the antecedents, you will notice the consistency. As a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing the good people of Niger east Senatorial District and Chairman Committee on Senate Services. I have served my people well as a first term Senator, and it has been an amazing experience.

So my interest in the chairmanship of our great party, the APC is another call to national service just like my current position as a Senator of the Federal Republic. You must bear in mind that as a Chairman of the APC I can leverage on my experience here in the Senate to push the manifesto of the party to the National Assembly more efficiently. It will also give me vantage position to deliver reconciliatory leadership which the party needs now to navigate out of its present challenges. And my leadership of the party will reinforce our commitment to keep the towering legacy and leadership of our amiable President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, whom has given our party an ideology and presence in the international community, his democratic ideals and work within the sub-region and Africa, fight against corruption and his efforts at providing security. Hence the need to have a leader that will continue to give full support and attention to such progressive efforts. There’s going to be a continuation and all of my efforts will be directed to support the deepening of democracy in Nigeria. It is a necessary sacrifice I must make to build our party in particular and the nation in general.

What support base do you have in the party that makes you to think or believe that you are the best choice?

Since I indicated interest in the chairmanship of the APC, the support has been overwhelming. Across the leadership of the party at the State level, down to the grassroots and back to the Federal level, those who are sincere will tell you I am the candidate to beat. Even my opponents know in the recesses of their hearts that I am a better candidate based on my pedigree, my contribution to the party and my sincere commitment to ensure the stability and success of the party.

If it is an elective convention, what is the assurance that you will beat other contestants at the convention?

I told you from the beginning that all options are on the table and I have no discomfort or difficulty emerging as the chairman of the APC even if it’s an open contest. What are the qualities of a good leader? Make your assessment based on those qualities that makes a good leader, you will see that I stand higher. Leadership isn’t something people are born with – it’s a skill that can be cultivated over time. When you’re able to develop strong leadership attributes, you’re positioned to inspire your entire organization, team or country. Right from the inception of our campaign, we have always been reaching out to party leaders and members at every level. I will surely triumph even in a highly contested election.

What would you do differently if elected as chairman? What reforms would you carry out? What are your plans for the party?

If given the opportunity to lead the party I will completely re-engineer the internal structures and workings of the party. I will be adaptive to participatory and affiliative work style that will usher visionary and pacesetting leadership for the party. my reform agenda for the party is expressed in what I call the three Rs for success, that is, Reconciliation, Reorganisation and Redirection. We need to immediately reconcile aggrieved members of the party on a sustainable basis. We need to reorganize the party in such a manner that it is able to effectively mobilise all segments of the country from youths to women groups for elections. And thirdly we must redirect our efforts towards winning elections and nation building and not wrangling. We’ll run an inclusive leadership that is devoid of the habitual grain of the entrenched political culture of dynastic politics, sectionalism, favouritism, money politics, parasitism on the public pay roll, cronyism and patronage. We’ll run a party that will preserve the legacy of our founding fathers to build a strong country that is more tolerant, more prosperous and fairer by giving every member of the party equal opportunity.

What are the challenges APC should resolve ahead of the convention?

We must put in place measures that are effective in resolving pre and post – convention disputes so that the party does not emerge from the convention worse off. Adequate arrangements for security and COVID -19 precautions must be put in place especially with the recent confirmation of Omicron in Nigeria.

What is your view on direct primary for the choice of candidates for election?

First we all need to know what a direct or indirect primary is, direct primary is one whereby members of a political party choose their party’s candidates while an indirect primary is one whereby party members elect delegates from among themselves who in turn decide the party’s flag bearers for upcoming elections.
The decision of the National Assembly in passing for a direct election has have applauded by some while others see it as an infringement on the independence and internal democratic workings of individual political parties.

There is nothing new about direct primaries as a means of electing party candidates because it is one of the options in our party Constitution. Nigeria’s democracy has been evolving and if it is the aspirations of Nigerians that direct primaries is the way to go then to me it’s a welcome development because it will guarantee the credibility and integrity of the electoral process and internal democracy of various political parties. Whatever the legislation brings we will adapt to use.

What is your opinion on presidential zoning or rotation? Should the presidential ticket go to the South or remain in the North?

Rotational presidency has no place in our Constitution neither is it recognized in the Electoral Act. It has always been a coinage of political parties at every point in time looking at political exigencies. Like I said earlier, Nigeria’s democracy has been evolving and so we are gradually navigating away from political solutions to our national challenges to solutions that are based on the Constitution which is the ground norm. So while others are clamouring for rotational presidency, all I can say is that from a strict reading of the Nigerian Constitution, rotational presidency is not recognized. However as a people and party we will take the right decision at the right time in the interest of the nation.

Is PDP not a big threat to the APC in 2023?

PDP as a party is a shadow of its former self and remains a toothless bulldog. It cannot even offer credible stiff opposition which is expected of it under the present circumstances of our democracy. Since PDP was defeated at 2015 general elections it has not recovered from the shock of the defeat and it is obvious in all that the umbrella does at the moment. They are now going about with a very scandalous mantra to “ rescue and rebuild “ Nigeria. I would have said the mantra itself is ludicrous but I would rather say it is embarrassing.

Embarrassing because how can a party like PDP forget about its atrocities so fast? In less than 8 years of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, the APC has transformed the country into an infrastructural hub with critical infrastructures in every part of Nigeria. The moribund rail sector has been resuscitated; our airports are now world standard, roads are being rehabilitated, social investment programmes permeating every home and individual in Nigeria and even with the intractable security situation, supports are given to our gallant security forces. All these put together makes the party the court bride every day.
Nigerian economy was not only going to cripple under PDP they did everything possible to undermine democracy especially free and fair elections. Today, PDP is gaining from the free and fair electoral process entrenched by the APC and has the audacity to promote that insensitive mantra to” rescue and rebuild” ! Rescue what ?

Is there a sort of agreement to zone National Chairmanship of the APC to the North-central?

Like I said, all options are always on the table in a democratic process but whether it is eventually zoned to the North Central or not, what is important is to conduct a transparent, credible, free and fair convention that will not trigger disputes and factionalised the party after the convention.

If that happens, will the North still be able to take presidential slot?

Either North or South when we get to the river we will decide how to cross the river.

Do you think the APC will survive its current travails and go on to conduct a national convention, seeing its congresses at the ward, LGs and states are being disputed, even in court?

Disputes are indispensable in democracy because democracy allows for different shades of opinions. This in itself is not a disadvantage because it allows people to learn from such disputes and even matters that end up in courts afford the judiciary the opportunity to expound and develop the law regarding issues in dispute which serve as precedents for the future. So I don’t see how disputes will affect the convention. I do believe that once I emerge the chairman of the APC, my reform agenda will address most of these challenges and reposition the party for the better.

Many leading and well-known members of the APC warned against the CECPC from the inception, some of their fears have manifested today, what is the way out?

The APC is looking beyond the challenges that emerged before the emergence Central Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee ( CECPC) and any other. The CECPC has been positive and they will bequeath a strong institution despite all the emerging challenges. But I can assure you that the party will come out even more formidable after the convention.

There is a school of thought in the APC that believes Buni is being proped up by President Buhari to continue as substantive National Chairman, do you share this opinion?

I can not respond to speculation or rumours. President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader of the party has not come out to openly endorse any candidate neither has he consulted anyone privately to work for a particular candidate so we cannot speculate. There is nothing like that and it is for this reason that the APC is holding its convention to freely elect its leadership. Gov Buni has a duty as the Governor of Yobe State he has said this time and time again that he has no interest in continuing as Chairman of our great party.

How do we return to the times when the party was supreme and had a clear manifesto that was canvassed by their candidates, as against these days that the supremacy of individuals over the party?

I don’t know about other political parties but the APC as a party is guided by the principle of party supremacy. In every organisation some individuals are often more influential but no individual is bigger than the organisation. If individuals are supreme then we won’t be talking about a convention to elect party leaders. Nigerians democracy has grown and it is above any godfather, so I don’t know where your fears are coming from. For me I will continue to strengthen the party to an institution, an entity that is operating on the basis of ideals, rule of law and constitutionality.

What are the things that stand you out in this race for National Chairmanship of the APC?

I stated this earlier that my pedigree, my experience and my personal sacrifices to the party and building of democracy in Nigeria generally. I have a clear vision of where I want to take the party as encapsulated in the three Rs.Reconciliation, Reorganisation and Redirection. I am not just seeking the office of the chairman of the APC for the sake of it but to reposition the party to win elections and take Nigeria to its pride of place in the world. I want to provide for the party leadership that will continue making Nigeria stronger, more tolerant, more prosperous and fairer by giving every member of our party equal opportunity. If found worthy to lead, I will devote my all in adhering to the goals and aspirations of the party, abide by the nation’s constitution, rule of law, the APC constitution and manifesto.

Previous Article

Igini: Nothing New About Financial Burden Argument for Direct Primaries

Next Article

Diezani: EFCC Says It Has Uncovered Additional $72.8m in Fidelity Bank

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.