17th June, 2021
The South Africa chapter of APC on Thursday called for concerted efforts to deepen Nigeria’s democracy through electoral reforms and internal party democracy.
The Chairman of the chapter, Mr Bola Babarinde, made the appeal in a statement issued on Thursday in Lagos.
Babarinde commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to reposition the electoral system but decried the lack of internal party democracy in the recently conducted local government primaries in some APC-controlled states.
“Now, we are all hoping there will be improved electioneering process from now till 2023
“Our wish for our party’s leadership is to take democracy more serious so that prosperity will judge them rightly.
“Ability to deliver dividends of democracy for our people should be paramount. Nigerians should be allowed to choose their leaders,’’ he stated.
The APC leader noted that the just-concluded party primaries in Lagos and Ogun states and in PDP states where politicians showed desperation and ensured that the will of the people was subverted for selfish reasons betrayed democracy.
According to him, these are wrong signals in growing democracy.
He noted that party primaries were replete with impositions and “generally not fair as complaints of imposition and rigging, writing of fictitious results and many other undemocratic ways rent the air’’.
“Do we believe Chief MKO Abiola and other people who lost their lives in entrenching democracy will be happy today the way we practise democracy where money and godfatherism are the only things that guarantee success at the polls?
“We should search our conscience, fear God and know that vanity upon vanity, all is vanity; we should use our power today to foster greater democracy devoid of greed and of lust for power,’’ he advised.
Babarinde urged APC-led governments to ensure true democracy that would promote one man, one vote in free, fair, credible and transparent elections.
He also stated that Buhari deserved commendations for making June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day a reality, adding that more should be done to make democracy work.
“June 12 Democracy Day celebration is worth it and kudos to President Muhammadu Buhari for making it a reality after several years of PDP anti recognition of Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola as the symbol of political freedom we enjoy today.
“But Buhari’s APC-led government took the bull by the horns, damned all the enemies of democracy by recognising Chief MKO Abiola as the winner of the freest, most attended (voted) elections in Nigeria,’’ the chairman stated.
He added that those involved in the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, acclaimed to have been won by late Abiola, had regretted the sad decision.
The chairman lauded Buhari’s priority on infrastructure, prompt payment of workers’ salaries, pensioners regular payment, fight against corruption and tackling of unemployment by introducing a conducive environment for investors.
Babarinde noted that the president had decried banditry, kidnapping and threats to national security and warned of dire consequences for the enemies of the nation in his Democracy Day speech.