By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman, has asked the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to embark on an immediate audit of the party Secretariat, saying that this will ensure efficiency of the personnel of the party.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Director General, he said the audit of the party’s national secretariat will strengthen its bureaucratic capacity towards national development.
According to him, “there is the need to undertake an audit of what currently exists as the party’s Secretariat, its functions and personnel.
“For instance, how is it structured to provide services to the APC as provided by the constitution of the party? Are there supportive rules provided for the operations of the party bureaucracy? How effective has the application of those rules be? What is required to strengthen the rules guiding the discharge of functions of the Secretariat?
“How are the personnel of the Secretariat recruited? Are there standard recruitment guidelines, highlighting qualification requirements? How can the process be strengthened?
“The third issue is the question of funding. How is the work of the Secretariat funded? Once funding is not guaranteed, it will affect the quality of personnel and also the proposals and recommendations which they make”.
Lukman who pointed out the challenges of bringing these issues to acceptable and actionable consideration by the party leaders, said “The fact that as members of APC we can raise these issues present some advantages for the party. As far as PDP is concerned these are issues that are foreclosed. As a party, PDP has over the years lived in complete denial of all its internal organisational challenges.
“Therefore, the issue of building the PDP as a strong institution is limited to winning elections, as far as PDP leaders and members are concerned. If anything, the lived experiences of PDP confirms that winning elections is not the same as strengthening the party. Even with weaker parties, elections can be won”.
“As Nigerians, we must wake up to the reality that there cannot be a strong democracy without strong political parties. Once our political leaders are unable to orient themselves to respect and recognise proposals from the party’s bureaucracy, they will be weak in respecting, recognising or working with proposals from government bureaucracies when elected to office. There is no shortcut to these issues!”.
“Once our parties are unable to recognise and respect the value of bureaucracies to guide processes of decision making and implementation within the party, elected leaders that they produce would most likely go into government with a mindset that at best disregard proposals and recommendations from civil service and other government bureaucracies”.
“This can only breed administrative authoritarianism, which as argued by Camilla Stivers in the book Bureaucracy, and the Study of Administration, ‘Administrative authoritarianism, officiousness, and arbitrariness are much more serious threats to the rights and liberties of the individual… The real protection of the citizens lies in the development of a high degree of democratic consciousness among the administrative hierarchy.’
“For us to be able to develop the needed democratic consciousness among the hierarchy of our political leaders, we need to focus ourselves on issues that will support the development of strong bureaucracies in our parties. As things are, what exists as bureaucracies in our political parties are highly fragile and hardly guide processes of decision making and implementation”.