By Adedayo Akinwale
The Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, has called for the audit of the National Secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has a ‘contagious influence’ on the operations of all political parties in Nigeria, including the ruling APC, given all its negative orientation as a ruling party for 16 years at the beginning of the Fourth Republic.
He accused the PDP of encouraging the contemptuous mindset of political leaders against building a party bureaucracy.
The director general stated this in a statement issued yesterday and titled, ‘Bureaucracies and Political Parties as Pillars of Strong Institutions in Democracy’.
He disclosed that the existence of strong bureaucracy in the United States ensured that it was impossible for Vice President Mike Pence to summon the courage to defy what could have ordinarily been interpreted to mean an instruction from President Donald Trump.
He said for Nigeria to be able to develop the needed democratic consciousness among the hierarchy of political leaders, there was need to focus on the issues that would support the development of strong bureaucracies in the political parties.
To this end, Lukman said there was need engage APC leaders with proposals that encourage them to recognise and respect the value of building a party bureaucracy.
This initiative, he said, include: “The need to undertake audit of what currently exist as the party’s Secretariat, its functions and personnel. For instance, how is it structured to provide services to the APC as provided by the constitution of the party? Are there supportive rules provided for the operation of the party bureaucracy? How effective has the applications of those rules been? What is required to strengthen the rules guiding the discharge of functions of the Secretariat?
“How are the personnel of the secretariat recruited? Are there standard recruitment guidelines, highlighting qualifications requirements? How can the process be strengthened?
“The third issue is the question of funding. How is the work of the Secretariat funded? Once funding is not guaranteed, it will affect the quality of personnel and also the proposals and recommendations which they make.”
Lukman added that it was very easy to raise these questions but extremely difficult to get them to the level of actionable consideration by party leaders, stressing that the fact that as members of APC, they can raise these issues present some advantages for the party.
The director general said given that the presence of strong institutions is a critical determinant of ensuring that responses of political leaders correspond to some minimum rational expectations, it might also be more practical to identify how bureaucratic institutions can be positioned or repositioned to serve as facilitators of political decision making and implementation.