Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said President Muhammadu Buhari parades outstanding democratic credentials when compared to the outgoing President of the United States, Donald Trump.
The Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party, Sen. John Akpanudoedehe said this in a statement yesterday.
He said the event of the past 72hrs in the US was to say the least condemnable.
He added that over time, elections in the US had been used as a touchstone for elections in other democracies.
Akpanudoedehe noted that it was settled that strong institutions are fundamental to the sustenance of democracies.
He, however, stressed that the US election saga strongly underscored the fact that the integrity of the country’s leader essentially complements the workings of these institutions.
Akpanudoedehe stated: “President Muhammadu Buhari contested and lost elections a couple of times and followed the process through to the Supreme Court on all accounts. This is an outstanding credential of a true democrat.”
He said upon gaining victory in 2015, the APC-led administration has carried out fundamental reforms to strengthen our institutions.
According to him, non-interference in the functions of INEC. The APC has contested elections; won some, lost some without splitting hairs. In fact, at some points, the APC lost over 5 states to the PDP, yet we allowed democracy to prevail. We have remained resolute in our belief that in every electoral contest, popular will must prevail.
Akpanudoedehe said this was a far cry from the days of the do-or-die politics of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where civilians took control of the security apparatus to subvert the people’s will and determine the outcome of elections.
He added that electoral reform is a core plank of the programs of the APC-led administration and a legacy that Mr. President has promised to bequeath to Nigerians.
The secretary said other institutional reforms include the excision of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and inauguration subsequently by Mr. President, as advised by the EGMONT GROUP, to eliminate the siphoning of local government funds and to entrench financial autonomy for local government councils in Nigeria.
Akpanudoedehe recalled that successive governments under the PDP rejected local government autonomy which hitherto encouraged undue interference in the running of local government administration by state governments and was linked to restiveness among the youth.
The ruling party, therefore, said the statements by the PDP were merely designed to gain political mileage and only reinforces the disinformation on all issues, which the PDP constantly and laboriously pursues at all times.
The APC noted that the positions taken by PDP governors against these institutional reforms are in the public domain.
It added: “Politics should not be allowed to overshadow policies. We urge the PDP, especially their governors to show bi-partisanship in supporting all the sectoral reforms being initiated by Mr. President for the benefit of Nigerians.”