Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has expressed his objection to the notion of party supremacy, insisting that party supremacy for its own sake is an invitation for some people to install and then perpetuate themselves in power.
Tinubu made his remarks Tuesday at the 35th Mallam Aminu Kano Memorial Lecture held at the Aminu Kano Center for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, Bayero University, Kano.
The lecture, entitled “Democratic Governance and the Imperatives of Party Ideology and Supremacy”, was attended by proteges of the late political icon such as former Kaduna State Governor Alhaji Balarabe Musa, former Jigawa State Governor Alhaji Sule Lamido, former Minister of Labour Alhaji Musa Gwadabe, and a host of politicians and scholars.
Represented by the Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the former Governor of Lagos State stated that with regards to party ideology and supremacy, the concept of ideology and principle must hold primacy over the supremacy of the party.
Tinubu, who is currently at cross purposes with the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Oyegun, regretted that party supremacy only arrogates more power to those already in power and enables them dictate to the rest of the party members, instead of serving the collective will of the party.
Citing examples from the recent events in the APC, he held that, “Party discipline is vital, but even more vital is adherence to humane and democratic ideals and principles,” adding that, with such principles, a party exercises internal democracy, which enables it to govern democratically.
On the other hand, he stated that without adherence to principle, “a party becomes a vehicle to lord over its members, instead of a tool to empower its members to realize good and beneficial aims.”
The APC leader expressed optimism that were the late Aminu Kano alive today, he would have agreed with him on the points raised.
On the state of the country, Tinbu said Nigeria is in a period of historical transition, reflected in a struggle to reject the malpractices of the past, while adding that the country must seek moral inspiration from the Late Mallam Aminu Kano if it is to achieve greatness.
He extolled the virtues of the late statesman, recalling that he had the opportunity to live an easy life, but instead devoted himself to the welfare of the people.
“The spirit of the man must guide more than our deliberations here today. That spirit must direct our political intercourse and actions,” he declared.
Presenting the lead paper, a former Special Adviser to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Dr. Usman Bugaje blasted successive administrations, particularly in the past 20 years, for the dismal state of affairs in the country, saying Nigerians want to see good governance on the ground, not in fine speeches and unverified figures.
Dr. Bugaje lamented the absence ideology among the nation’s political parties, blaming it on the history of party formation in the present Republic, which had placed priority on removing the military from governance.
He observed that unlike, in the past, when parties were owned and funded by the people, the present set of parties are owned by individual members and funded by those in political offices.
He maintained that political parties at the moment have no content, no conscience and no culture, saying that, until they revert their funding and ownership to the people, they would remain hijacked.
Others who spoke at the event, includinh Alhaji Sule Lamido, urged beneficiaries of the struggle of emancipation by the Late Mallam Aminu Kano to honour his memory by doing the right thing in their various spheres of public responsibility.