By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged the African Democratic Congress, ADC, to avoid the same political mistakes that have affected the smooth running of major political parties in Nigeria, saying, that the major parties have image, discipline commitment and leadership deficit.
Obasanjo who gave the charge when he received the National Working Committee of the ADC, led by the Chairman, Chief Ralph Nwosu, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said in such a short period, the party had become a force to reckon with in Nigeria’s politics.
“Be prudent as a party, and uphold its uniqueness of being members’ driven party, where its members are the financiers and not a few money bags.”
The former president explained that being prudent would help in no small way, in preventing the party from toeing the path of past governments in terms of using “government money directly or indirectly to fund the party.”
According to Obasanjo: “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.”
He therefore, 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.
Earlier, members of the National Working Committee of the ADC thanked Obj for choosing the party as the credible platform for his Coalition of Nigeria Movement, and accepting to be a mentor and guide 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.
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 etching 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 said that the former president “is a repository of history lessons and a man of destiny.”
The ADC chair cited the involvement of the former President in all the very significant developments of the Nigeria nation, and the great works he is doing to promote democracy and the continent of Africa on the global stage.
Nwosu assured Obasanjo that ADC would never fail in the project of developing a model and sustainable party that would place Nigeria on the global stage again as a formidable country and a preferred investment, tourist, and sporting destination.