Governor Rochas Okorocha, the Chairman of the Governors' Forum of All Progressives Congress, APC has laid out assignments which former governor Adams Oshiomhole must accomplish if he is elected the next chairman of the party.
The governor of Imo State said Oshiomhole's first task in office must be to ensure that members are appropriately rewarded for their contributions to the party.
The governor gave the assignments in the goodwill message he delivered when Oshiomhole declared his interest in becoming the next chairman of APC in Abuja on Thursday.
While affirming his believe that Oshiomhole has the credentials to lead the party to success in 2019, Okorocha said, "Adams your first assignment when you become the national chairman of the party is to ensure and cancel that principle of 'monkey dey work, baboon de chop'. Because some of these people who are seated here before you, won their (polling) booths, delivered their wards, but those who didn’t win their booths or deliver their wards are holding big jobs in the federal government of Nigeria."
Okorocha added that the return of Buhari to the presidential villa in 2019 is a fait accompli, since, as he said, the President does not need to campaign in the northern part of the country.
"I have no doubts in my mind that Oshiomhole when elected will show the way. Oshiomhole’s coming in as national chairman of APC is bad news to other political parties. Adams Oshiomhole is a dogged fighter, a man who can face challenges and I have no doubt that you will strengthen APC when elected.
“Today, our party is going through some challenges and I must commend those who helped fight for this party, even before this time, they have done well, but the fight ahead, the challenges ahead, are greater and we need great men like Adams Oshiomole to do this job. For me particularly, Adams will strengthen APC in South south and Southeast.
“Suffice to say that as I speak to you today, I am the only governor from the entire South-east who is APC just like my brother, Obaseki, is the only governor from the South-South from the APC. What this goes to say is that APC has challenges in the South-South and Southeast for reasons not too far fetched, for some myopic considerations and assessment, this party is not strong in that part of Nigeria.
"Another thing I think Oshiomhole will address is that our party has began to play the same kind of politics like PDP. All of a sudden we have started derailing and playing the PDP kind of politics. This was started by some of those people who found themselves in political office especially by appointments, who did not win their booths and wards."
Speaking at the occasion, Oshiomhole who is a former governor of Edo State assured that nobody can use him if he is voted in as chairman of APC.
Oshiomhole assured that he will work for the unity of the party when he is elected.
He explained that his intention in running for the position is to inject new blood and men with fresh and digital ideas into APC towards achieving its ideal as a social progressive party.
His words, "I am contesting not because there's leadership failure, I am contesting just as it stated in our constitution that democracies work better when from time to time new blood , new people who are willing make a difference are given opportunity to build on the foundation which those currently on office have laid or are laying"
"We will endeavour to ensure that the party conventions beyond elections and also seeks to discuss about development, governance and policy issues. Also, we will organise activities at regular intervals across the six geopolitical zones where issues and challenges facing the polity, economy and society will be discussed by party leadership and elected and appointed officials, and members,," Oshiomole noted.
He said that the overall objective will be to create platforms for setting national development agenda that will focus on the issues that affect most Nigerians on the front burner.
"In my view, the absence of such credible and organized platforms to interrogate and debate matters of national importance has created a void for ethnic champions, religious bigots and other elements with different motives, and idle individuals to promote hate speeches, and even in some cases beat the drums of disunity.
"It is common for people, particularly the party leaders to evoke the concept of party supremacy when dealing with party matters. For me, party supremacy flows from the implementation of decisions democratically debated and consensus reached at the approporiate and relevant organs of the party.
"The party should, therefore, serve as a veritable platform to keep both the executive and the legislative arms of government to remain faithful and focused on delivering the deliverables for the good of the people and the welfare of the country.
"It should be appreciated that a truly democratic political party such as the APC founded on the principles of social democracy and inclusiveness, is by definition prone to contestations. For us, a measure of progress is how free members are to contest issues as it relates to the party or government. Hence, internal disagreement is not necessarily dysfunctional. What is important is that while encouraging healthy debate, the party must demonstrate the competence to objectively and constructively resolve or manage any conflict or disagreement within the ranks of the party.
"To promote party supremacy and party unity on a sustainable basis, the party must ensure discipline within its ranks and evoke sanctions where appropriate. For us, rules and policies are useful to the extent that they are enforced. To sustain party unity, there must be party discipline. Once a party position is taken, anyone who goes against the party position will be subjected to party discipline in line with the party Constitution following due process. Without sanction for misconduct and commendation for proper conduct, there cannot be party discipline.
"We will reposition the party for a united Nigeria. Internally, we will build the capacity of both leaders and members; improve administration, organisation and financial management and ensure proper management of the party.
"Our party’s constitution has already provided for the funding of the party. Article 22 provides that the party shall be funded by subscription, fees, and levies of members; proceeds from investments; donations, etc. We will vigorously pursue all of these avenues. Externally, we will interface with different groups including religious groups, labour unions, civil society organisations, youth groups, women groups and persons living with disabilities.
"Furthermore, we will consciously promote and service the concept of separation of powers under the presidential system of government between the three arms of government (executive, legislature, and judiciary). But as we know, the judiciary does not come under the ambit of the party because they are not subject to election. That leaves us with the challenge of ensuring the separation of powers between legislature and executive at all levels. The party will in all its actions and words respect the principle of separation of powers.
"The party under my leadership when elected will have the courage to continually remind the two arms that they are separate but not autonomous arms of government because if you are entirely independent, you will not complement each other. It is important to point out that the two arms of government, namely: the executive and legislature are not independent of the party or themselves because they are expected to complement each other to ensure that the policies of the executive and deliberations of the legislature agree with the manifesto of the party. This will require robust engagement with the executive and legislature on policy issues necessitating the need for functional and effective party caucus in the legislature.
"Whenever there is an apparent conflict between the parliament and executive, the party must take proactive steps to mend fences so that the two arms will work harmoniously even as both must respect the principles of separation of powers.
"To sustain harmonious interaction between the executive and the parliament, the party must have seasoned parliamentarians including non-serving Senators and Representatives to monitor the National Assembly on a daily basis and advice the party leadership on engagement with the National Assembly. The party under my leadership will recognise that the parliament is unique, diverse and faced with a lot of challenges. The party will, therefore, ensure coherence in all dispositions and decisions of parliament. The party will proactively settle any rift between executive and legislature without compromising the principle of separation of powers.
"We shall put in place mechanism for conflict management. We know that in human interactions, there are bound to be conflicts arising from differences in opinion and perspectives. The responsibility of the party will be to engage in consensus building and conflict management. In particular, we will intervene in the lingering crises between Governors and members of the National Assembly in their respective states as a result of poor communication, conflict of interest, or just being victims of rumour mongering. When I am given the privilege to lead the party by being elected at the National Convention, we will proactively engage all the parties involved in such conflicts with a view to helping them to find common ground on the basis of justice, equity and fairness, and without bias.
"My dear party members, my commitment when elected is to provide leadership that will be firm, fair, just, transparent, faithful, and loyal to the members of the party. In other words, I belong to all members and leaders of the party without bias. I am asking God to give me the wisdom, courage and will to be firm and just in all I shall do in the overall interest of the party and all Nigerians who have invested overwhelmingly in us in the 2015 elections.
"I believe that with the zeal to work with the executive and legislative arms of government, we will engender renewed public confidence and support for our party and government at all levels," he stressed
The former governor added that the party is fortunate to have a President who unlike other past leaders is not a thief, adding that no matter the failures of the administration, the character of President Buhari stands out among his peers.
He, therefore, challenged other parties to put forward their best before Nigerians.