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Nigeria and presidential democracy: any better alternative? (2), By Hassan Gimba

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Nigeria and Presidential Democracy: Any Better Alternative? (2), by Hassan Gimba

In Nigeria and Presidential Democracy: Any Better Alternative? (1), we touched on how cries of marginalisation permeate the air. Partisan interests are placed above national interests while divisions along ethnic and religious lines have become the norm just as the struggle for power and its retention have taken a “do or die” dimension, affecting almost everything, including the neutrality of the judiciary, the supposedly last hope of the common man.
We also observed that the communication gap between the average Nigerian and his representative in government has widened so much it seems they live in two separate worlds with nothing in common except, perhaps, religion and tribe or party and town.
And then we asked if we can continue this way, going on to query if the fault is that of the system and to seek a better one, if so. But in doing that, should we look inwards? Will a system in tandem with our inner being be the answer to our multifaceted and ever-growing problems as a nation? Perhaps we have been imposing on ourselves systems that are alien to us, to our culture, to our souls? Of course, some believe the problem with us is not so much the system as it is the people. Well, could be. But can people be true to what is not their nature? Well, yes, if they put on an act. One can act like a saint but can the actor live the life of a saint? People are always at their best when they are true to themselves. Being yourself does not always give room for hypocrisy. And time has proved to us that it has a way of exposing hypocrisy.
Britain, which gave us the parliamentary system in 1960, still practises it. While the parliamentary system is over 750 years old there, ours lasted six years before it was scuttled by the march of the jackboot.
Surely while ours was an imposition, a sort of a deliberate wholesale adoption of a set system, Britain’s parliament was not created from a “conference”. It naturally evolved as out of daily necessities. Therefore, one is not far from the truth if one insists that the parliamentary system, which started in 1265 with the Simon de Montfort Parliament, is in the blood of the Briton; it is part of him. While the representative system began with the de Montfort (Earl of Leicester) Parliament, fifty years earlier, the check on impunity by leaders was rolled out. In June 1215, the Magna Carta was issued to become the first document to put into writing the principle that the king and his government were not above the law.
We can see how the homegrown parliamentary system has served Britons well.  It is because they looked inwards, derived from their nature which was in tandem with their inner being, rather than copy, adapt, borrow and impose on themselves a system that is alien to their culture, to their being. And so it works for them because they are at home with it. It is their roots.
America is another example. The democracy it is practising and proudly imposing it on other nations around the world is homegrown. After freeing itself from Britain, its colonial overlords, the leaders of the revolt set out to build its enviable democratic culture. In an article written for the Smithsonian Magazine of September 20, 2011, Joseph Stromberg said, “The dawn of American democracy didn’t come in 1776, with the declaration of Independence. It didn’t come in 1788 when the constitution was ratified by the states, or in 1789 when George Washington took office.” He continued, “According to Harry Rubeinstein, chair and curator of the Division of Political History at the American History Museum, the symbolic birth of our system of government didn’t come until its noble ideals were actually put to the test…” And that test was Washington’s resignation and handing over to John Adams in 1783.
We need not look far to see that nations tend to develop when their system of governance correlates with their innate way of thinking. Arabs in general, historically and by tradition, live in communities with close ties, respect family lineage and thrive under a strong paternalistic leader. The Arabs of Libya and Iraq that wanted to leave their roots and take up the American system are now rueing their folly. Despite America’s maximum pressure, arm twisting, blackmail and sometimes condescending cajoling, China, Russia and now Iran are holding tight to their roots. And they are stronger for it.
Therefore, one way for a political arrangement to work for a people is for it to originate from them. But humankind is a broadminded, flexible and adaptable species. Because of these and many other plausible positives, man can adapt and get adapted to any political plan for his development but with a proviso. That proviso is that he is sincere and patriotic.
And this is why we have seen thriving countries that borrowed alien systems of governance; their honesty in implementing the system and the love for their country have made it work to their benefit. You can count the Asian Tigers, many European, South American and African countries among them.
As all people evolve, the peoples of Nigeria were all developing at their paces and consolidating the substances that enhanced their lives. Colonialism came and disrupted our slow and steady but sure growth into modernity. It uprooted us, leaving us dangling in the air. We have left our roots but we are yet to grab the ever-elusiveĺ colonialists’ branches.
A ready example can be taken from the textile industry. We had ways of processing cotton and converting it to thread. There was a fabricated machine made from wood for that. From there, we formed yards that were used to sew dresses. Then, even the Whiteman bought them and transported them to his land. We also had methods of colouring clothes. Had our “primitive” textile industry been left alone, it might have evolved into something bigger than what the Whiteman has now.
But because we lack confidence in ourselves, we jettisoned ours that was improving by the day as our knowledge base got expanded, and embraced the Whiteman’s contraption. A contraption we cannot make or repair displaced what we were manufacturing. A contraption we cannot own supplanted ours. Such missteps took place in our iron smelting industry and in all other sectors of the economy. And so, like the bat which is neither a bird nor an animal, we became neither here nor there.
But our neither here nor there-ness does not just stop with our industries. Our dream became to behave like the Whiteman whose morals we see as worthier than ours. Our cultures, traditions and norms we saw as archaic and were ashamed to showcase. Even in our dressing, what is “corporate” to us is Whiteman’s idea.
This hankering for the foreign we knew not, understood not and which was never in sync with our nature also reared its head in our political preferences. Agreed we were conquered and made to live under the conqueror’s will but we have gotten our independence and with that our thoughts, presumably. They did divide us because they never wanted us united, to begin with, but we should know that for our sakes, and forge a united front.
Before the advent of the colonialists, the various peoples that constitute today’s Nigeria were practising various forms of governance. We had our ways of administration; we had our leadership structures and our economic systems. Perhaps, had our march not been truncated by colonialism, we would have continued to improve a system that is natural to us and possibly even export it. Recent actions of some politicians in the United States of America show that their political interests are bigger than national interest; surely, we could have taught them a thing or two. There is little doubt that a homegrown political system would have served us better in our current confusing, seemingly hopeless and daunting circumstances as a nation.

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Opinion

APC National Convention: it is irresponsible To Call For Sack Gov. Buni Led CECPC

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APC National Convention: It is irresponsible to call for sack Gov Buni led CECPC

Yusuf Ali

It is irresponsible to call for sack of the well constituted and highly celebrated action-packed Governor Buni led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, All Progressives Congress over the planned national convention of the party. Uptil now, the CECPC has not told anybody that it is not going to conduct the party’s national convention after it has successfully conducted Ward, Local and State Congresses as it said that it is only embarking on nationwide consultations with Party leaders and stakeholders to prepare the ground for a rancour-free National Convention.

It is very wrong for anybody to say that Governor Buni is holding on to the seat to score political goals. For the avoidance of doubt, Buni is a sitting governor that has his second term fully secured in 2023 if he decides to run. The people of Yobe state who overwhelmingly voted for him in 2019 are extremely happy and ready to return him to consolidate on the solid transformation of Yobe state as truly the pride of the Sahel.

Let me say that this call for the sack of the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee amounts to playing dirty politics, and it is cheap and irresponsible. In fact, Nothing can be more irresponsible and reckless, as such a statement. Nobody in his right senses will call for the sack of the focused and result-oriented Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee.

The Governor Buni led CECPC was legally constituted by the 8th resumed of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress APC which constituted the Caretaker Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee in place of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. It has performed tremendously well in rebuilding and repisitioning the party for greatness. No amount of hysterical calls for resignation will prevent it from carrying out its constitutional mandate. As a progressive governing party guided by its rules, the CECPC will continue to take the right steps and follow due process in carrying out its activities, in this case the planned national convention is sacrosanct. The APC as a party for all will continue to act on its words.

Let it be known that the Governor Buni led CECPC is not in anyway against the conduct of the all-important exercise as planned it only wanted a rancour-free national convention. If some of the pending issues related to fallout of the Congresses in some states are not amicably resolved it will further polarise the party during and even after the convention. The focus remains that achieving and sustaining the APC Caretaker Committee’s peace and reconciliation core mandate wrapping up with credible national convention is all the more gratifying.

Before the CECPC, the governing party is on the verge of collapse and disintegration. As the Chairman of the CECPC, Governor Buni has been a steady hand in troubled times, and that explains why leading the governing All Progressives Congress at a most turbulent period, he has managed the crisis to bring peace to the party and safe it from disintegration, and even set it on a trajectory of success for the coming national convention and ahead of the 2023 general elections.

For a large and governing party with so many crisis points and conflicting interests like the APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni has always toed the line of compromise, temperance and internal democracy as well as tackled internal squabbles when they have occured as a family affair. He is a stabilising factor and voice that is generally accepted and has successfully forged a common ground among all the interests in the governing party.

Governor Buni is well positioned to stabilize the party and ensure synergy between the party, members and the government. He has shown a capacity to steer the party to stability and remains a strategic political asset to the APC and government.

Buni is not a dictator. As the Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, because of his background, he has listened, engaged, accommodated and gave a sense of belonging to every member of our great party.

As a principled leader, Buni has always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills in the execution of his responsibilities. It is this power of persuation, tact and diplomacy that endeared him to his colleagues (Governors), and all the leaders of the party across the country.

He has brought his natural abilities as a gentleman, peacemaker and a stabilizing voice to resolve many disagreement and Internal conflict in the party.

Hon. Mai Mala Buni has ensured that meeting of party organs under the CECPC are held regularly. It is only when the party’s leadership meet constantly that it will agree and disagree on issues and resolve matters in the interest of the party.

Buni has used his position to ensure a strong and progressive party institution that will continue to make Nigeria great and will continue to bring the party together becsuse he is focused and knows the issues.

Hon Mai Mala Buni has written his name in gold as he takes on the bold steps in rebuilding and repositioning APC ahead of the national convention and the 2023 general elections.

He has designed a medium, and long term development of our strategies and internal organization to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquaters Abuja

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Gov. Buni Leading APC To Victory

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Gov. Buni leading APC to victory

Yusuf Ali

  1. Hon Mai Mala Buni is not a dictator. As the Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, because of his background, he has listened, engaged, accommodated and gave a sense of belonging to every member of our great party.
  2. Hon Mai Mala Buni has always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills in the execution of his responsibilities. It is this power of persuation, tact and diplomacy that endeared him to his colleagues (Governors) and all the leaders of the party across the country.
  3. Hon Mai Mala Buni has brought his natural abilities as a gentleman, peacemaker and a stabilizing voice to resolve many disagreement and Internal conflict in the party.
  4. Hon Mai Mala Buni has prominent people from the North, South, East and West. It means he is a rallying point at the center.
  5. Hon Mai Mala Buni, the support he has flows from knowledge of the understanding of his person because he has been fortunate to work with his colleagues (Governors) and all the stakeholders, members and teeming supporters of the APC.
  6. Hon Mai Mala Buni has ensured that meeting of party organs under the CECPC are held regularly. It is only when the party’s leadership meet constantly that it will agree and disagree on issues and resolve matters in the interest of the party.
  7. Hon Mai Mala Buni has used his position to ensure a strong and progressive party institution that will continue to make Nigeria great.
  8. Hon Mai Mala Buni will continue to bring the party together because he is focused and he knows the issues.
  9. Hon Mai Mala Buni has written his name in gold as he take on the bold steps in rebuilding and repositioning APC ahead of the national convention and the 2023 general elections.
  10. Hon Mai Mala Buni has designed a medium, and long term development of our strategies and internal organization to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquaters Abuja

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Opinion

Re: Buni, Malami Move To Block Convention, Governors Rise Against interim Party Chair

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RE: Buni, Malami Move To Block Convention, Governors Rise Against Interim Party Chair

By Yusuf Ali

These days, so many people are saying so many things; indulging mostly in sponsored attacks, and ficticious lies in the pages of Newspapers on the activities of Governor Buni led CECPC, and as spokepersons, we make the deliberate choice of staying out of the most part because it is not worth replying.

But it is hard to ignore the above publication in the Punch Newspaper of 12 January, 2022 which, according to the reports, a party leader who confided to their correspondents is making the false claims that Governor Buni and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN are delaying the APC National Convention because he (Governor Buni) has a Vice Presidential ambition. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are concious of the devilish plans being orchestrated by some mischievous elements to cause disaffection between our leaders and to distract the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee from it’s national assignments of putting the APC family house in order ahead of the national convention.

It is important to note that, at the level the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee is working, there should be no need to be doubtful about whether our great party, APC will be having it’s national convention after successfully completed the Ward, Local and State Congresses.

It will be recall that after the end of the year 2021 meeting of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) on Monday, December 20, 2021 and in the APC 2022 New Year Message, both signed by the Secretary, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, there was confirmation that planning for the National Convention has commenced. Members and the general public have been put on notice that relevant committees will be setup. The only problem hindering the Governor Buni led CECPC to move to the next level is the unresolved issues of reconciliation in some states. Although the Senator Abdullahi Adamu led National Reconciliation Committee is working round the clock to meet it’s dateline, the reality is that it’s not advisable for the governing APC, a party with so many crisis points and conflicting interests to go for national convention with a divided house.

This is the truth of the matter and not the ficticious lies some people are dishing to misled gullible Nigerians.

For the avoidance of doubts, Governor Mai Mala Buni has not told anybody that he has a presidential ambition. These are mere speculations in the Newspapers. Governor Buni has accepted to serve as the APC Chairman Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) because of his love and loyalty to the party that promised brighter days for Nigeria and all Nigerians. He is contributing in this capacity to help develop a strong progressive party institution that can be impactful in the local, state and the national level. He has devoted his life, energy and time to be able to do that. When he is working rebuilding and repositioning the party, first thing comes first. We have to have a structure first. If people start with rebuilding a party today and deciding to become a presidential candidate tomorrow, actually you are trying to destroy the basis of rebuilding the party, because everybody will have ambition.

There are time for everything and Governor Mai Mala Buni has no ambition. As a practicing Muslim and faith in God, he knows that leadership belongs to Almighty God, He gives it whom He wills and takes it from whom He wills none has power to out pass His verdicts. But let it be known that Governor Buni has no ambition. He has not told anyone that he wants to be President or Vice President.

At this juncture, it is important to point out that Governor Mai Mala Buni is not an ambitious politician but a leader with all the qualities of leadership. It is on record that leadership positions and responsibilities was always entrusted on him because of his judgement and respected for his expertise, integrity, etc and hence followed and not because he hold a certain position. He was APC Chairman Yobe State, National Secretary and today by the special grace of God he is serving Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, positions that he has never aspired but entrusted on him because of his leadership qualities.

At this level and time, what the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee needs is support from across party ranks to achieve maximum reconciliation for the governing party to go for the national convention as one united family ahead of the 2023 general elections.

We must also acknowledged the marvellous achievements of the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee, attracting three serving Governors to APC and reconciling many aggrieved members that added to the strength of the party. APC is growing in leaps and bounds.

As the Governor Buni led CECPC prepares for the national convention, we appeal to every party member and supporter to seek above everything else the unity and peace of this great party. The party must remain a strong political entity before, during and after the convention.

We should not forget the bigger challenge ahead of us in 2023, the presidential election without Buhari on the ballot. We cannot go into it divided nor can we win the trophy in such a state. We should all uphold the ideas of the party and give it unflinching support for it’s affairs as we journey into the national convention.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer All Progressives Congress APC Headquarters Abuja

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