By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Immediate past Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday advised President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve his appointees who have failed to deliver his campaign promises to Nigerians.
Speaking in Abuja when he hosted elected non National Working Committee (NWC) and non National Executive Committee (NEC) members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said this is the only way to ensure that political appointees are kept on their toes.
Addressing the elected non NWC, NEC members, who came under the umbrella of Integrity Group, Okorocha who currently represents Imo West in the Senate, regretted that the wishes of President Buhari is not reflecting among Nigerians because some political leaders have turned people empowerment to selfish empowerment.
He told the members of the Integrity Group that the crisis in APC has become endemic because those who formed the party with noble ideas have become spectators, while guests have highjacked the party for their selfish agenda.
He cautioned that until the right thing is done, by reversing the wrong which has become right in the party, there will continue to be crisis in APC, even as he lamented that a party which was a national party few years ago, have become a party without any Governor in the south south geo-political zone.
According to him, “I must say here that what works in most developed countries is hire and fire which brings discipline in the system. There is nothing as bad as persons who occupy government positions and are not working but are kept for sentiment basis. They should be fired to create room for those who can perform. There is nobody on earth who is Alpha and Omega, if you can’t do the job, be sure that someone can do it.
“But when you know you cant be fired If you messed up, you tend to mess up the more. So, I suggest that our party should begin the issue of hire and fire. That is why I commend the decision to remove the leadership of APC. That is how it should go, if you can’t do the job we show you the way out. I will urge our party, the APC, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari imbibe the spirit and fire so that people can sit up and do the right thing.”
He however commended President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating many youth empowerment programmes, including N-Power, Anchor Borrowers programme, Special Job Scheme by the ministry of Labour and Employment, but said it has remained a drop in the ocean because the political appointees have not been able to expand the coast of the programmes to employ more youths.
Okoroacha also called on the leadership of the party to, as a matter of urgency, return the party to how things were at the formation stage.
He lamented that the continuous loss of APC traditional states to the opposition – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) especially with the recent loss of Edo state should not be allowed to continue.
“We no longer have what I term as collective responsibility, rather we have selfish responsibility where leaders are busy thinking the next election and what positions they can occupy instead of thinking about the dividends of democracy as it should affect the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We therefore come back to the root of the problem in our party because the very people who worked for the success of the party, are the ones that have been neglected, rather, those who came yesterday have taken over. This is why there is so much anger from the ward level to the national.
“Those who have been empowered, have refused to empower others from the ward to the national level. The issue of empowerment is empower one person so that he can empower others but those who have been empowered now have new friends and neglected the foot soldiers and at the end of the day, it is President Muhammadu Buhari that takes the brunt.
“This is why I advice that we go back to the drawing board and some of this laudable projects should be extended to the party, I do not see any ward chairman and his 26 members who cannot farm under the anchor-borrower program. So, policies of our government are just hanging and do noy get to the grassroot. Owners of our party are not participating in the running of the party.”
Speaking earlier, the leader of the group, Sadiq Abubakar, who said they were on a mission to unravel the root of the crisis in the party, said the group has embarked on nationwide consultations with the founding fathers of the party with a view to finding solutions to the crisis currently bedeviling the party.
Abubakar identified lack of reward system for loyal party members as one of the major challenge the party leadership should addressed, in order to effectively oil the party machinery.