Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, an umbrella body for governors under the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Salisu Moh’d Lukman, has stressed the need for Nigeria to build strong institutions that are capable of guiding processes of political decision making and implementation.
To achieve this, Lukman insisted that we must ensure the development of bureaucracies in our organizations and how leaders are oriented to recognize and respect proposals and recommendations from the officials in our bureaucracies.
The PGF DG was speaking against the backdrop of the recent political development in the United States where the Vice President, Mike Pence chose to uphold the nation’s constitution and respect for rule of law by choosing to announce the decision of the US Congress regarding the result of the electoral college votes despite pressure on him to do otherwise.
In a statement issued Wednesday and made available to Nigerian Pilot, he said, “At the time, all the eyes in the world were on the US Vice President, who is vested with the responsibility of announcing the decision of the US Congress regarding the result of the electoral college votes.
“Given a reported twit by US President Donald Trump who was quoted to have said that Vice President Mike Pence has the power to reject the verdict of the electoral college, which returned Joe Biden as the winner of the election by a wide margin of 306 to 232 for President Trump, there was the anxiety that the election of the world-acclaimed most powerful democracy is about to be manipulated and victory was taken away from the winner.
“In a letter, however, to members of Congress, Vice President Pence said, “It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.”
Lukman argued that had US Republican Party been contemptuous of bureaucracies, Vice President Pence may not have been able to discharge his constitutional responsibility in the way he has handled it in relation to the US 2020 elections.
“In fact, the support of many Republican Party Congress members in certifying the victory of the Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, as President-Elect confirms the strong institutional orientation of the Republican Party and the commitment of their leaders, including elected officials, to proposals and recommendations aimed at enforcing democratic standards coming from the relevant arms of government. These are the issues that should be recognized,” he said.
Lukman stated that as much as it was important to continue to advocate for rational decisions by our political leaders at national levels if our advocacy for strong institutions is genuine, we should cascade it down to all levels of organizations.
“The question of how we can build that in Nigeria should therefore be answered with reference to how we can develop our parties such that they are able to have competent, efficient, and effective bureaucracies to guide processes of decision making and implementation.
“This is where those of us in APC, including Dr. Igbizor, with the capacity to raise issues that focus the attention of our leaders to take the right initiatives, must go beyond the simple presentation around strong institutions.
” We need to support our leaders with specific recommendations that can direct consideration to initiate processes of putting in place the kind of bureaucracy that would facilitate rational political decision making and implementation. Many often ask the question, will our leaders listen or consider such proposals? Such a question is already defeatist. The courage to make proposals must be founded in our commitment to engage our leaders and the democratic process such that proposals and recommendations are not assumed,” Lukman averred.
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