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Dr. Dikwa ; The Rise & Meritorious Exit of a Colossus From Public Service

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Dr.Dikwa: The Rise and Meritorious Exit of a Colossus from Public Service

Dr Abubakar Mohammed

Sixty years ago, the clerical and conservative family of Alhaji Kyari and Hajiya Amina were blessed with a child whom they named Mohammed. The boy was born precisely on a Sunday, the 3rd January 1960 in the town of Dikwa which is located in Borno State. He was the youngest of four boys and second to the last born of the family. Unknown to the Dikwas and the people of Borno, the little Mohammad would grow up to be a key player in Nigeria’s public financial sector.

Revealingly, Dr. Dikwa started school in 1971 at Central Primary School, Dikwa through the influence of the Emir of Dikwa and the late Sir Kashim Ibrahim who was an Education Officer in the 1960s. Dr. Dikwa demonstrated excellence through hardwork and diligence at Central Primary School,Dikwa. It was reported by his classmates and teachers that it was a regular occurrence to see him receiving prizes at the palace of the local Chief. This display of excellence in academics and sports became his trademark and made one of his classmates to give him the sobriquet, “Taada hangal kiji” which when loosely translated into English language means, “The boy with the sharp brains.”

After graduating in 1977, Dr. Dikwa and one of his primary school mates were offered provisional admission into Government Secondary School, Gashua where he met people like Dr. Yarima Ngama, Prof. Shettima Abdu and Senator Ahmed Lawan, who were a year ahead of him. When Dr. Dikwa got to Gashua, the late Ali Pindar Kwajjafa was the principal of the school. Kwajjafa was a no- nonsense school Administrator who ensured that conducive atmosphere necessary for learning was maintained at the school. Dr. Dikwa after expectedly graduating with flying colors, taught briefly in Dikwa because of his inherent passion to give back to his community. He is still a part time Lecturer at the University. He later secured admission into Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri to study Town Planning in 1982. He stayed in the Town Planning department for a semester and then, in demonstration of his proactivenes, took a life defining decision – a decision that once more showed that the vintage Mohammed is gifted with unrivaled wisdom and intelligence. Naturally, he is the kind of person who doesn’t stay anywhere he is not being appreciated. He changed his course from Town Planning to Accountancy. He simply followed his intuition after realizing that Town Planning was not for him. Today, we all know and can therefore, boldly say that it was the Almighty who led him to the best profession suitable for him. Although Dr. Dikwa joined the Accountancy department a little bit late, he graduated as the overall best student of Ramat Polytechnic in 1985, as he swept all the prizes and in addition, was offered five automatic employment letters by different banks, the state government and the World Bank’s Project. He took that of the World Bank’s Project.

He started his career in the World Bank project as an Internal Auditor in the Borno Agricultural Development Project known as BODAP. He covered the entire present Borno and Yobe States, regularly visiting places like Jakusko, Damaturu,Biu,Munguno, Gashua just to mention but a few, to take stock of the World Bank’s agricultural inputs interventions especially fertilizer and seedlings. With maximum commitment, Dr. Dikwa displayed efficiency and accountability in the discharge of his duties by visiting all areas of responsibility and rendering account of every penny spent. On numerous occasions, he had returned what was left after his routine visits. The World Bank project’s officials took notice of his excellent performance and professionalism and recommended him for promotions. Dr. Dikwa later on transferred his services to the Borno State Government. His quintessential quest for excellence and competence made him to further his studies. Dr. Dikwa got admitted into the Department of Social and Management Sciences of the University of Maiduguri to study Accountancy. His classmates at the University would recall with great joy how committed, friendly and generous he was to virtually all. Combining studies and work as a civil servant is not an easy task, but Dr. Dikwa managed both perfectly well and graduated with distinction and thereafter, enrolled for a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance at the same University. Dr Dikwa would later go on to become a Chartered Accountant of international repute and a member of both ICAN and ANAN. He proceeded to Harvard Business School, Oxford, Cambridge, Thames and Business School of the World (Instead, France) to obtain various International certifications in Accounting and Finance. He kept firing on in the academic world unabated until he reached the zenith of it all and obtained the covetous Doctorate in Public Sector Financial Management.

Dr. Dikwa’s professionalism and passion for excellence as an Accountant made him to stand out from the coterie of Accountants in Borno State. It is on record that he is the only Accountant to serve five different military administrators as Chief Accountant at the Government House, Maiduguri. He was diligent, hard working, tolerant, honest, loyal to a fault and also smart. His ability to adapt to different situations and people made it easier for him to work with the military administrators. Some of these military administrators, for example, General Buba Marwa still relate with Dr. Dikwa excellently. It should be noted that General Marwa was the Chairman of the Occasion at the wedding reception of Dr.Amina ( Dr. Dikwa’s daughter). The last military administrator, Group Captain Lawan Ningi and his administration decided to do massive reshuflement in the State Civil Service which saw Dr. Dikwa moved to the Pilgrim’s Welfare Board as Chief Accountant in 1998. It was at the peak of the General Sani Abacha’s era. Not long afterwards, General Abacha died and General Abdussalami Abubakar came in with his new political program which saw the conduct of general elections in 1999.

After the general elections, Alhaji Mala Kachalla of the All People’s Party defeated Alhaji Baba Ahmed Jidda of the People’s Democratic Party to emerge as Governor. Dr. Dikwa didn’t know Governor Kachalla. Obviously, some people who placed the development of Borno State above their personal gains might have recommended him to the Governor knowing that the governor was a man who was in love with merit and excellence. Expectedly, Governor Kachalla did his background checks, obtained Dr. Dikwa’s phone number and placed a call to him. Dr. Dikwa was surprised to hear Governor Kachalla speak to him. In essence, Governor Kachalla introduced himself and made his intentions known to Dr. Dikwa. He blatantly told him that he wanted to make him the state’s Accountant General. To make Dr. Dikwa understand the importance of this appointment, Governor Kachalla told him that the Accountant General and Secretary to the State Government positions were the first major appointments he was going to make.

Dr. Dikwa worked with Governor Kachalla for four years and he was like the Scion of the administration. He was not only transparent and honest to Governor Kachalla but did all to see that the adminstration succeeded through innovative fiscal discipline and laudable projects that showed value for money. The monthly FAAC allocation to Borno as of then was not more than 200 million but it was judiciously and prudently managed.The Mala Kachalla administration was the height of peace building and conflict management in Borno State. It was said that Dr. Dikwa and the Governor Kachalla were regularly seen inspecting road projects in the wee hours of the night. It was common to see the late Kachalla measuring the thickness of the asphalt road with measuring tape which he carried around.

In 2003, some not so honorable politicians collaborated with a vicious group of thugs known as ECOMOG and disrupted the gubernatorial elections. Governor Kachalla was defeated and a new administration that was vindictive took over. Instead of the new government to commend Dr. Dikwa for the laudable initiatives he brought to public financial management in Borno, they chose to do the opposite. Given that Dr. Dikwa doubles as both Accountant General as well as Permanent Secretary at the Borno State Ministry of Finance, the new regime harrased, blackmailed and persecuted him but at the end of the day, the truth prevailed and Dr. Dikwa got vindicated.

Shortly after that, Dr. Dikwa moved to the Federal Civil Service as an Assistant Director in 2003. Most of the people who were in the same level with him who moved to the Federal Civil Service where absorbed as Deputy Directors but Dr. Dikwa, though better qualified than most of them was absorbed as an Assistant Director. Still, he never complained, grumbled or made any protests because although he is not a complacent individual, he is naturally a contented and patient person who believes that God will ultimately make things to work out well for him.

As Assistant Director in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Dr.Dikwa attracted the attention of his colleagues and superiors because of his diligence, hard work,easy going nature, team spirit and innovative ideas. Even as State Accountant General, Dr. Dikwa introduced innovative ideas like e-payment,e-collection and computerisation of all financial transactions and data. He was also credited with changing the normenclature of Director of Finance and Supplies (DFA) to Director of Finance and Accounts( DFA) so as to professionalize the accounting sector in Borno State. Prior to his assumption as Accountant General in Borno, it was common to see Marketing and Business Mangement graduates working as Accountant in the Civil service but immediately he took over, he made it compulsory for anyone who wanted to continue as an Accountant to obtain an Accounting qualification from the polytechnic and university or obtain an ICAN or ANAN certification. At the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Dr. Dikwa introduced innovative ideas like Cash Management policy, GIFMIS,IPPIS, Efficiency Unit and so on. When Kemi Adeosun was appointed as Finance Minister, she was advised by her confidants to get Dr. Dikwa if she wants to see results as Minister of Finance especially in the area of public financial management in the country. She collaborated with him and formed the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Auditing (PICA) which had saved Nigeria billions of Naira and weeded out over 50,000 ghost workers from the Federal Government’s payroll. Apart from that, innovative solutions like Whistle Blower and Treasury Single Account that have helped the Buhari administration to identify and apprehend corrupt persons were either conceived or midwifed by him.There is virtually no innovative solution or concept in the nation’s public financial management sector that has taken place within the last 16 years that doesn’t have the input of Dr. Dikwa.

In 2018, the Federal Civil Service conducted promotion examination for Directors to be considered for promotion as permanent secretaries. Dr. Dikwa who has written numerous books on public sector financial management which many Directors consulted for promotional exams ironically, had been bypassed for consideration as Permanent Secretary even though many Directors who were once his junior had been considered and elevated to Permanent Secretaries. But in 2018, he sat for the examination and came out as the overall best. The President who values excellence wasted no time in confirming him as a Federal Permanent Secretary where he was asked to be the pioneer Chief operating officer of the Special Duties Department at the nation’s Finance Ministry. He was asked to oversee and coordinate public sector financial reforms, debt servicing,make recommendations, review the functions of MDAs through a risk based approach, exercise oversight responsibilities,transform internal audit practice etc.

The contributions of Dr. Dikwa to the government and people of Nigeria are numerous but they can be summarize into seven:

1. Entrenchment of fiscal discipline and probity in the management of public resources.
2. Professionalism and diligence in public service. His transparency and incorruptibility will forever be a reference point to civil servants. Bayo Adams of Periscope Consulting was right when he said that Dr. Dikwa’s “integrity is next to none.”
3. Strengthening of the Federal Civil Service through rigorous training,study materials and mentorship. His Public Servant’s Companion series are read by Civil servants all over the country.
4. Introduction of innovative ideas like the TSA, Whistle Blower and Continuous Auditing.
5. His efforts and his team had saved Nigeria billions of Naira and millions of dollars.
6. Efficiency in public financial management which saw oil marketers and all persons doing business with the government being attended to in short period of time. It’s on record that there was never a time in the entire career of Dr. Dikwa as a public servant where anybody has to bribe him in anyway to discharge his duties.
7. The last but not least is that Dr. Dikwa is one person who has been able to show to civil servants how to lead as a detribalised leader. It’s no longer news that most senior civil servants in the rank of either Director or Permanent Secretary are fond of assembling staff from their ethnic or religious group thus if the Permanent Secretary is Kanuri and Muslim,all his personal staff will be Kanuris or at most from his state and must be Muslims. But we don’t see this in Dr. Dikwa’s office because his staff is a mix. In fact, there is only one Kanuri there as a staff.

Come January 3rd, 2020, Nigeria is going to witness the exit of one of its finest public servant who is in the same league with legendary public servants like Ibrahim Damcida, Phillip Asiodu and Ahmed Joda. I believe that Dr. Dikwa would have been allowed to stay like other Permanent Secretaries who were given tenure extension by the President if he wants but he chose to lead by example and obey the Civil Service rules as a good public servant. The Civil Service rules states that a civil servant must resign after putting in 35 years of service or reaching the age of 60. The law is the law. It’s good to note that even though some Permanent Secretaries who are above 60 are still in the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Dikwa has shown decorum and grace by complying with the laws of the land. His willingness to retire means that he has nothing to fear or hide; that there is life after office.

As this outstanding Nigerian clocks 60 and bows out of the Civil Service , I want to use this medium to tell him that Nigerians still need him more than ever before; that even though he is retiring from the Civil Service because he wants to comply with the law, we know that he is not tired,that the Buhari administration still needs him. I therefore, call on the government to engage him in a higher capacity to serve his Fatherland even better. Lastly, granting to this gentleman by the Federal Government, the National Honors (Commander of the Order of the Niger), may not be a bad idea.

Mohammed writes from Lagos

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Opinion

“When i was a Boko Haram Member”

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“When I was a Boko Haram member”

In modern day Nigeria, Borno is referred to as Home of Peace. Its history is synonymous with statecraft, Islam and scholarship. When Kanem Borno was relating with the outside world in trade and international relations, most nationalities in Nigeria were unaware of the outside world. It is home of Islamic education/civilization. So whoever wants to hurt Islam choosing Borno is appropriate to create Maitasine and Boko Haram cells. After all, the docility and welcoming culture of its peoples did not help matters.

I am a Muslim, but I choose not to belong to any sect, not to talk of a violent cultist body like Boko Haram. But on 15thApril 2013 a team of policemen led by Inspector Ibrahim Agu of the Task Force On Anti Terrorism & Heinous Crimes travelled all the way from Abuja to Maiduguri to unlawfully arrest me accusing me of belonging to Boko Haram. This was how easy a government security agent could conspire with whomever to make me a BH member. Nigerians have accused Security agents for framing them for pecuniary reasons. Mr. Agu, along with Inspector Sani Daura, arrested me in my office at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.

They searched my official car and my house at Dalori Housing Estate. The journey to my house was meant to embarrass me and attract onlookers with siren blowing and fully armed police stationed in strategic positions. However, nothing incriminating was found in both searches.

I was taken to the notorious SARS office in Maiduguri and shown what they claimed was a petition written against me by one Bashir Goni that I belonged to the dreaded BH. The petitioner claimed that I was his childhood friend and classmate in primary school. That I recruited over 600 people into BH and supplied them with 200 AK 47 guns.

When I requested the police to present the petitioner, Mr. Ibrahim Agu said they searched for him in his address, Shehuri North but couldn’t locate him. He lied because at that time no security personnel dare go there because it was infested with BH member patrolling the streets with guns. When I insisted the petitioner be around to defend his allegations, his boys threatened to deal with me and lock me up, apparently to soften me.

What amazed me was could I be such a senior person in BH structure and be unnoticed by the DSS/Police or the army in Maiduguri in 2013? In any case, between 2007 and 2013 I was not in Maiduguri as I worked in various places: Abuja, Minna and Kaduna.

Please let’s look at the content of the petition, its frivolities and how the men in black turned reasoning up side down. If I could recruit 600 people into BH, I must be a very learned ideologue and in the top leadership of the organization. Could I be a government worker and be a member when they consider government work/school “haram”? Were the security agencies in Maiduguri dummies to miss such a “high value BH” leader”?

At the time of arrest I was a Deputy General Manager in Federal Mortgage Bank. Could I have afforded the money to buy 200 AK 47 guns for BH? Assuming each gun cost 400, 000 naira and multiply that by 200, it will be a colossal eighty million naira (N80, 000, 000).

Well, I was brought to Abuja. I wasn’t even allowed to carry my essential drugs and seeing my family in tears added to my dilemma. But Agu never cared seeing my wife and seven-year-old son in tears. I was lucky he didn’t kill me a long the way. Because many innocent lives were killed by both BH and security agents in Borno. But I think that wasn’t part of the brief by his sponsors. I was detained for four days by SARS in their dungeon. If it was a dream, I have since woken up coming face to face with suspected armed robbers, Boko Haram members and other high valued suspected criminals. I swear by He who created me, my first time of seeing a BH member that close was when Agu detained me among them.

The SARS detention centre was a terrible mess, unfit for human habitation. Detainees lay on the floor. No running water in the toilets and with the exception of BH suspects all other detainees buy their food. I bought food for many of my colleagues in detention. Detainees were also responsible for their medicals. We contributed money to have a young armed robbery suspect taken to the hospital. What I did earned me the respect of the leadership in the facility whose overall leader was called IG (Inspector General named after our tormentor).

I was so impressed because even the world of the “criminals” is organized as they take turns to clean the toilets and empty urine vessels in their cells. An armed robbery suspect shot in the foot told me it was done deliberately to stop any possibility of escape.

The other amazing thing I saw in detention was the understanding between Muslim (mostly BH members) and Christian suspects. During Muslim prayers the Christians will shift to one side of the cell to allow them enough space to pray and the same gesture is done to Christians. The wives/relations of the police solely sold the food, water and other things in the facility. A visitor to the facility must buy something from them or wouldn’t be allowed to see the suspect.

Inspector Agu kept me in the facility for the stated number of days agreed with the sponsors of my arrest. A senator of the Federal Republic came with two lawyers to bail me but the request was turned down. On the third day I had an asthma attack, possibly aggravated by sleeping on the floor, and they rushed me to a private clinic to see my doctor. I spent a night in the hospital and for the first time in my life, my BP rose. While on admission, two policemen were assigned to guard me. A high valued “terrorist” like me should have been hospitalized in either police or military hospital for maximum security, but Inspector Agu, for reasons best known to him, chose otherwise.

My life, fate and well- being were in the hands of Inspector Agu and ACP Umar Garba (head of the facility), the guys with guns and unlimited power. They could have locked me up and throw away the key for God knows how long.

Since then, I have never ceased thinking over why the police arrested and detained me in the first place. I get emotional whenever I thought of the ordeal the police subjected me to knowing I was innocent, yet helpless. My earlier move to seek legal redress was frustrated by relations and friends. The petitions I wrote dated 25 July 2016 and which were acknowledged received seeking for fair investigation and Justice to the Inspector General of Police, Chairman, Police Service Commission and the Human Rights Commission were all frustrated. The investigation and Justice I wanted from the police authorities was to compel Inspector Agu and his boss to produce the petitioner. I also wrote about the bribery issue.

I tried to know who could be behind my ordeal. A policeman who tried to show sympathy to my ordeal said “Oga, the petition may have originated from your work place.” I also recall one of them told my wife that “your husband is not BH… We know one when we see them…We are ordered to take him to Abuja”. With this background, I started reflecting on what ensued between Gimba Ya’u Kumo, then MD/CE of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, and me.

Sometime in January 2013, Gimba Ya’u called me at around 8 pm and harshly accused me of writing a petition against him in collaboration with his enemies in Gombe. I protested complicity but he bitterly threatened to deal with me and hanged his phone. I have worked with Gimba; he was a boastful character. When I was arrested, I suspected his threat to deal with me had finally come true. By nature I am an introvert, not troublesome, had quarreled with no one, therefore my only thought went to no other person than the one who threatened to deal with me three months earlier.

Two days after my arrest, Gimba paid an official visit to the Governor of Borno state. My staff welcomed him at the airport, drove him to the Government House but he never cared to ask after me even when I was the Zonal Coordinator and would have been the arrow head of the entourage. May be because he knew I was securely locked up in a police cell. Gimba has never sympathised or even mentioned anything to me about my arrest and detention until he left the Bank.

The police had written Gimba, being the MD/CE informing the Bank of my arrest and detention but according to the police the Bank refused to reply and acknowledge I was a staff of the Bank.

The Bank also refused to send an in-house lawyer to bail me or advice management on the next line of action where bail was not possible which is a tradition in the Bank.

When Gimba arbitrarily relocated the Zonal office from Maiduguri to his hometown, Gombe, he met stiff resistance and was compelled to reverse it. He accused me of complicity and transferred me to Maiduguri from Kaduna and told a staff “let them go and die in their Maiduguri”. He transferred me three times in less than six months. The MD/CEO cared less how these movements would impact on my family.

From my sources, I learnt his grudges against me included the petition written against him regarding the buying of the bank’s industrial kitchen utensils for his hotel in Gombe, multi-billion naira corruption pertaining the Legacy Housing Estate and billions of naira contract by Starting Point for IT. I have no hand in the petitions. I had little or no knowledge of all these scandals since I was not even in the Head Office.

I hold Inspector Agu and ACP Garba responsible for my unlawful arrest/detention; they should have exercised caution. They told the world I was a BH member, rushed me into detention and failed to prove my membership. “Go, you are free, you are not a Boko Haram”, Inspector Agu told me arrogantly. No apology, no official letter to clear me of the charges. When I requested for official clearance a few months ago, Agu told me only the Inspector General of Police could do that.

Let the truth be told, seven years down the lane I still harbor anger and bitterness. Hopely these write up will dissipate the anger of my unlawful detention and framed up charges by the police that I was a Boko Haram

Member – a four-day-membership. Somebody was behind this wicked act, but the police knew those responsible but because of their complicity, Justice will elude me. I pray to Allah to bless me with the heart to forgive my tormentors, amen.

I want to once again most sincerely appreciate all those that stood behind me during my travails.

M. B. Sabo

Former staff of FMBN,

[email protected]

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Opinion

Gov. Buni; The Man, The Moment, The Ultimate Political Guru Of Nigeria Politics

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Gov. Buni; The Man, The Moment, The ultimate political Guru of Nigeria politics

By Haruna Yusuf

His Excellency, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, is a grassroot and dogged politician who fought and won some battles politically, including the epic battle for the soul of All progressive Congress (Apc) and Nigeria as a whole, especially in the 2015 general elections to dethrone the ruling party and enthrone Apc and also remained a thorn in the flesh of the opposition till date.

For a political smart leader with sky rocking profile and wide political network cut across the country, his political dynasty is one of a kind and a blessing to Apc, Yobeans and Nigeria atlarge.

He may have rised rapidly through the political maze to become who he is today and known as Mr fixer and political mathematician of who knows the people yarning, plight  and aspiration at all times.

Buni is indeed a rare vitue of a comtemporary leader with the people interest at heart, he has in recent and time memorial proven himself to be a leader of high ethics and morality, because he has exhibited uncommon wisdom and also have a remarkable and transformable vision to turn Yobe around to the world it is destined to be.
Before Buni’s emerging as the democratically elected Governor of Yobe state, he has being a role model and an example of selfless giving to this generation of Nigeria and indeed the generation to come, Buni is the best leader anyone could ask for, we are prove to have him as our amiable Governor.
Yobeans are proud to hold him as a leader worthy of emulation.
As far as i understand politics and it’s antics, no better politician than Buni, analysing his political track records and achievements, it is highly worthy of commendation. I am not talking about his decisions or diplomatic relations, but his connections with the people at the grassroot level. Buni is an astute manager of people and all inclusive leader. The reason i mentioned him, is that, he is a leader worth following and with whom a common man can relate easily without hitch.

Buni has remained a formidable factor in the political equation of Yobe state. Thus, his towering and unparralled status has elevated him over and help him grow through the political maze of Yobe to become the democratically elected Governor. Buni is a grassroot and dogged politician with a quality pedigree to lead Yobe to the greater height of the progressive.
The essence of being a grassroot politician is to be close to the people to know their yarning and aspirations at all times and to promote leadership and dividends of democracy for the electorates. This is basically so, because in democracy, power eminates from the people at the grassroot level and that power is a trust which the leaders hold on behalf of the electorates and should be held accountable if abused.
Today’s grassroot politics is the surest way of making the elected leaders listen to the needs, yarning and aspirations and problems of their people and take practical step to meeting this needs effectively. Today grassroot politics has become a major and popular yardstick for measuring the success or otherwise of elected political leaders.
Charity, the wise say, begins at home.

 

 

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Opinion

2023; Why Apc Must Revisit, Amend its Constitution – Yusuf Adamu

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2023: Why APC must revisit, amend its constitution – Yusuf Adamu

The scenario that gave birth to the recent crises in the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC should not be cast with a wave of a hand at this time when the waves seemed to have calm down. There could be triggers that in the days ahead such event may rise again and therefore the need to revisit and amend the APC constitution by the new leadership of the party.

I am happy that our former Chairman, Adams Oshiomole and all the former party executives have withdrawn litigations and speak well of the party and leaders. This is a sign of good sportsmanship and shows that the party is on a good path to 2023 general elections.

In a place of corrections, issues of the past are sometimes brought to the fore in other to pick a lesson for the need of tomorrow. I have observed that, in the last five years of our party as the strong one, we have abandon the needful, which indeed was part of our crises as a party. This is the issues of holding regular meetings and sharing of information from the top to the bottom or avoid to take vital information from the bottom to the top.

Information management is very key in everyday life and especially in party affairs. The first mistake we made was to abrogate proprietorship leadership system in our party and that is now the brewing crises looking at comments coming from the southwest with the intervention of the President to hold strong our four walls from collapsing. This mistake should be the last and lessons for the new leadership to do the needful and not to allow an escalation along this wrong path.

Party meeting should be holding regularly and within the stipulated time and also not in a gangsteric style because everybody matters. We have seen the action of a ward Chairman against the National Chairman and the fruits it produces. This is very critical in a party with more than 20 million supporters. It is normal to agree and to disagree on issues and we should thank God that we have a listening President, who is quick to act on party matters. He is very quick and have saved the party from collapsing.

Agreement and disagreement is normal in a Democratic system because everyone has something to say and need someone to listen. There will be more of this as we move towards 2023. In APC like any other party, we have people of different background and ideas, as such, there must be a time for horse trading, maneuvering and scheming. But we have to do it in a good way. We thank our God that our party did not collapse.

The party now I believe is in the hands of people with higher level of integrity, experienced people to run the party for six months. Now, definitely a mechanism of check and balance has to be put in place. We should make sure that we do not trample on the opportunity God gave us to rule this great country, because the devastating effect will be greater in history judgements.

Although as a party we are dealing with oppositions that are not honest, let that not becloud our thinking that, we can play with God’s given opportunities. There are encroachment in our party to make sure the party did not stand, but did stand by the grace of God and this should make us to begin to look inward towards making sure that we do not give them room to put the last nail by their many attempts to brew new crises for the party.

My appeal is that, the new leadership of our party should use their experiences to ensure that the party is on a solid ground before talking about 2023. A mechanism for reconciliation has to be put in place and aggrieved persons must be reached out for immediately. The elections in Edo and Ondo is a litmus test for us. We do not have moral justification to loose these two elections. If we do, and I pray not – this is going to be bring a serious set back for us.

For me, I want a situation where the constitution of our party should be amended to spell clearly on issues of conflict from the wards to the National. We should take a study of the scenario that brought us to where we almost loose grip of the party. I want a situation whereby when there is a conflict in the ward, the ware Chairman has to form a committee to look into such conflict and write to the local government executives, who will look into the matter and also write to the state and the state writes to the National body before an execution order is given by the National body to suspend or expel an individual from the party.

We should make sure that wards have no jurisdiction to suspend or expel without following the due process and channels, otherwise the experience in the case of the former APC Chairman will be seen repeating like wild fire and that would not be a good thing for the image of the party.

I recalled when we were in the ANPP, whenever there is an issue of concern as this, the national executives will form a committee after its meeting, who would look into the matter and proffer solution without having to go to court. Sometimes the Board of Trustees are called upon to give fatherly advice or verdict on party internal issues.

Now, our party should make sure that a board of trustees is inaugurated and give them a role to play in party matters. These individual should be carefully selected and should be people with high level of integrity. We should have a situation whereby our internal conflict are managed and solved withing the ambit of the party constitution so as to reduce litigations.

* Yusuf Admau is a former Political Adviser to Ex- Borno Governor Kashim Shettima
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