By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
As a way out of the internal wrangling which has threatened the unity of the All Progressive Congress (APC), the Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, has called on the Mai Mala Buni led caretaker committee, to set up a committee to review the Constitution of the party.
In a statement he issued yesterday in Abuja, the DG of PGF said the duty of the committee should be to review areas in the party Constitution that needed to be amended, with a view to setting standard for conduct of elected and appointed office holders in the party, which he said would be ratified by the Extraordinary Convention Committee.
According to him, the standard code of behavior for party leaders will go a long way to check abuse of office by party leaders subsequently, and ensure that APC leaders conduct themselves in manners that will not undermine the party’s commitment to the principles of accountability or engage in actions that could be criminal, or strategies of political bullying to include the deployment of state law enforcement machinery and officials against fellow citizens and party members.
According to him, “As it is today, APC is the only party with the potential of promoting progressive politics based on ensuring that the party is able to put in place credible and verifiable membership register as basis for membership and citizens’ participation. The management of the membership must be such that it makes it easy for records to be updated and accessed.
“For the party to guarantee participation, processes of leadership emergence should be transparently democratic involving wider scope of members. Beyond electing leaders, the internal rules of the party should be strengthened to ensure that all party organs are made functional and the conduct of party leaders, including elected and appointed officials, are regulated to ensure that they project truly progressive conducts and credentials”.
Lukman asserted that, being progressives should mean that APC leaders are taking all the measures required to ensure seamless political contests within the party as a result of which political conflicts are giving way to healthy political contests.
“The struggle to make APC a progressively democratic party must not be surrendered to forces of reaction acting as political bullies”, he said.
He further said: “Given that the most important mandate of the Mai Mala Buni Caretaker/Convention Working Committee is to organise a National Convention where a new leadership will be elected, what are the steps required, which the Mai Mala Buni Committee should take to ensure that the national leadership of the party that will emerge are not nominees of potential Presidential candidates?
“The best way to check whether new leaders are nominees of potential Presidential candidates could be perhaps whether they emerge from electoral contests. How fair was the contest and to what extent could the issue of credible and verifiable membership register support the process of electing the new leadership of APC at the coming national convention? A very credible process should be recommended to sprout from membership registration/verification.
“This should mean that immediately following the membership registration/verification, party Congresses at ward, local governments and state levels hold to elect new leadership. This will have the advantage of ensuring that some levels of political negotiations are activated within the party to facilitate the emergence of new leaders.