Hon. Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, former President of the Court of Appeal and Chairperson of the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development (Council of the Wise) has challenged the nation’s political leaders to prioritise good governance without which the country’s development will continue to backslide.
The jurist stated this when she led members of the Council to pay a courtesy visit on APC National Chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu Thursday at the party’s national secretariat.
Sustainable good governance and growth, she harped cannot be possible unless party leaders allow internal democracy to thrive in their parties while all stakeholders play their individual roles in entrenching transparent, fair and credible elections at all levels.
She also advised all concerned especially the party chieftains and candidates to always conform their conduct, actions and decisions to the dictates, guidelines and regulations of the electoral law and the constitution under all circumstances.
“We also wish to advise that the leadership should also take steps to compel their members, candidates and officials to fully comply with the electoral laws and guidelines issued by the electoral umpire (INEC), in order to develop a culture of integrity and trust.
“It is also the responsibility of the party to ensure that the Political Campaigns are devoid of rancour hate speech, inflammatory and unguided utterances capable of instigating violence. Nigeria deserves peaceful, transparent 2023 elections.
“The Council wishes to remind the Party’s leadership that for Nigeria to develop, there must be stable good governance, which could best be put in place through free, fair and transparent elections.
“In general, Mr. Chairman, the Council believes that the ability of Nigerians to once more prove the prophets of doom and our detractors wrong largely depends on the conduct of the Parties during the forthcoming 2023 elections. They owe it a duty to the Nigerian people to improve upon and consolidate the democratic successes so far achieved in Nigeria.
“The Council will continue to be reminding all the stakeholders to always listen to their own wise counsel before acting.” She assured.
Responding, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the APC chairman noted that bother leaders and followers have a shared responsibility for the success of democracy.
“The success of a democracy is multifaceted; the leadership has its roles and the followers have their roles to play. One of the challenges that confront the success of democracy is the choice of leadership.
“Why do leaders fail? Where do you get a leader, male or female made of outstanding character of integrity and what have you? And what level of expertise does he require to meet up with the expectations of the people and that will make him enjoy the confidence of the electorate? There must be a meeting point.
“One thing I have noticed in course of this journey is that the spotlight has been on leadership… But let us not just address the leadership only because the leadership can succeed to the extent that the followers play according to the rules of the game.
“We must revisit the subject of followership as a country so that we know what is the minimum standard. Why do we keep on talking about corruption and we still have it?
“We must ensure that if we are going to make laws, we ourselves must be sure we are not offenders. For if there is no buyer there will be no seller. Each time I talk about corruption in this country, this keeps coming to my mind that the more we preach against it, the more people keep on doing that. Why?
“I want to call on your council to help us, we are today the chosen leaders of the ruling party of the Federal Government of Nigeria. We want to correct as much as we can some of these weaknesses that are identifiable not only now but many of them before we came to power but we want to make a difference.
“We invite you to be our partner in seeking that difference. We want to assure you that under our National Working Committee, we will work with you because we know that you will deliver. You can invite us to any of your retreats and seminars and you will find us as partners,” he emphasised.