Fomer President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the leadership of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) to remain prudent and uphold its uniqueness by being a members’ driven party, where its supporters were the sponsors of the party and not a few money bags.
He told the National Working Committee of the ADC, led by its Chairman, Chief Ralph Nwosu in Abeokuta that by pursuing such goals, the ADC would stand out in the Nigerian political terrain and avoid the same mistakes that have affected the smooth running of major political parties.
The former president, said he was impressed that the party had become a force to reckon with and recorded positive impact in such a short period.
Obasanjo advised the ADC against toeing the path of past governments in terms of using “government money directly or indirectly to fund the party.”
He said: “I am happy that the party has become a credible alternative to the other two parties in such a short period. I have said it many times that I am not a member of ADC; I will, however, provide guidance where necessary. You have to make sure that you are guided by the vision of the party at all times, and continue to accord women and youths the chance to participate without discrimination.
“The major parties, right now, have image deficit, discipline deficit, commitment deficit, and leadership deficit. Once you are able to ensure that you are not found wanting in all these areas, you would have conquered the major challenges of running an ideal party that will produce credible leaders; and there must be internal democracy.”
The former president advised ADC leaders at all levels to focus on their short, medium and long-term objectives, noting that, in the short term, ADC would have an impressive number of lawmakers at the House of Representatives and Senate, control a good number of state governments, and also work in collaboration with other parties to form the right government at the federal level.
“Once this is done, your short-term objective has been achieved. You can then focus on your medium-term objective. However, the only thing that can uphold a political party is morality. You can’t be a party condoning indiscipline,” he said.
The members of the National Working Committee of the ADC thanked the former president for choosing the party as the credible platform for his Coalition of Nigeria Movement, and accepting to be a mentor to the party.
Nwosu said the former president was one of the best leaders in the world and the most influential political figure currently in Nigeria and indeed, Africa.
He explained that the ADC has positioned itself as the best platform, as divine, promising that the party would work very hard not to disappoint the former president and the people of Nigeria.
The ADC NWC used the occasion to present the Global Visionary Award to the former President. The award, which is a globe-shaped effigy with fine gold engraving and glittering hardcore enamel, stands on a metal and treated mahogany pedestal. It carries the citation, “We share in your passion and commitment to Nigeria.”
While presenting the award, Nwosu described the former president as “a repository of lessons and a man of destiny.”