National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has rejected the call for party supremacy by some members of the ruling party and warned that power elongation often leads to dictatorship.
He said this, yesterday, at the 35th annual Aminu Kano Memorial Symposium in Kano, with the theme: “Democratic governance and the imperatives of party ideology and supremacy”.
Apparently making reference to the controversial power elongation in the leadership of the APC, the former Lagos State governor said: “Calling for party supremacy, by and for its sake, is nothing, but an invitation for people to install and, then, perpetuate themselves in positions of authority in the party. They will arrogate power, so that they come to dictate to the rest of the party, instead of serving the collective will of party members.
“Recent events in our party confirm the observation. Party discipline is vital, but, even more vital, is adherence to humane and democratic ideals and principles. With such principles, a party exercises internal democracy, which better enables it to govern democratically.
“Without such adherence, a party becomes a vehicle to lord over its members, instead of a tool to empower its members to realise good and beneficial aims. We must always remember that the political party is meant to serve the people, and not the people serving the party.”
Tinubu said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has delivered more dividends of democracy than that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 16 years. He said the APC government might, sometimes, be imperfect in fulfilling the spirit of Aminu Kano, but, is far from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“When someone can do for you, in three years, what another did not even try in 16 years, any person with an open eye can see the difference between giver and taker, between friend and thief,” he said.
He said despite the drop in oil prices, when he assumed office, with less revenue, Buhari has done far more than his predecessors.
“If billions of dollars and trillions of naira were not stolen by past governments, the nation would have been able to acquire infrastructure and implement programmes which bring greater developments and economic justice to all.
Instead, a select few ate more than their bellies could contain. Distorting the cause of justice and hijacking the means of national welfare, they wildly enriched themselves, and left the average Nigerian to dine on the passing wind.
“As Aminu Kano did, we must do. If we do so, we shall come to the realisation that democratic governance is more than going through the motions of mimicking certain processes and functions which have been deemed to connote democracy.
“Democratic governance must not only stick to proper forms, it must bear proper fruits. It must work for the betterment of the people and give them the chance to realise the best of their individual and collective aspirations, in an atmosphere of peace, justice, and fair enterprise.
“To me, this is what sets apart the current administration from prior governments. Consequently, the Buhari government has spent inordinate time cleaning the rot and plugging the holes in the corrupt system the others had institutionalised as their strategic policy and national direction.
The APC has been working to steer our national ship from this awful direction, so we may bring the people and their welfare into safe harbour.”