A member of the National Advisory Committee (NAC) of APC, Arc. Waziri speaks to newsmen on how the unity of APC will make it possible for Tinubu to win the 2023 with a Muslim-Muslim ticket. He speaks on other issues. Excerpts:
Qstn: May we know you officially?
Ans: My name is Arc. Waziri Bulama, a Fellow of Nigerian Institute of Architects and a former National Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC). I am a member of the Board of Trustees or the National Advisory Committee of APC.
Qstn: What is your take on Tinubu picking Shettima as his running mate?
Ans: Decisions in political parties are not inspired entirely by religion, region, or tribe. A political party is an organization of people from all parts of the country. The constitution has a definition of what a political party is supposed to be.
A political party is not supposed to be tribal, it is not is not supposed to be religious; it is not supposed to be a cultural organization. A political party is a group made up of Nigerians from all backgrounds reflecting our diversity. In fact, for somebody to win any national election, diversity, the approval from all the communities and states in Nigeria must be reflected. So every decision in the party is decided by all stakeholders in the party. So we are very happy that a party that is less than ten years has been able to emerge into a very strong national platform with presence in every nook and cranny of this country
We have been able to hold three successful National Conventions – in 2014, 2018 & 2022. In fact, before the 2022 Convention many people thought that APC was likely going to implode. That it was going to disintegrate. That it was going to fall apart into the smaller parties that came together.
But we all stopped. We are a party that is united, national, that is present everywhere. And we are in control of 22 states.
On June 8, 2022, we held a National Convention to elect the Presidential Candidate that will carry our Party’s flag in the 2023 election; and the contest was open, transparent, free, clean and peaceful. And we elected Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu as the candidate of our party in a free contest.
You know he has the task of consulting widely within the party and around the country to pick a running mate, which he did, from June 8, 2022 for over one month.
It took him about one month of consultation with all the stakeholders in the party. And out of the list of senior capable leaders that will add value that will complement him, that will also be his running mate, he arrived at one who is a serving Senator, Kashim Shetima from Borno State as his running mate.
I am very happy that this decision came out of deep, serious, consultation. So here is where we are. We have Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu as our candidate and Sen Kashim Shettima as his running mate.
Qstn: Do you see them as clicking finally to victory?
Ans: What is most important is not just that the two of them are very proactive, very capable professionals who have records of performance. Especially for Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, who had an excellent political model while governing Lagos. He had an excellent governance model. He had an excellent economic model that worked for Lagos that transformed Lagos from a crime-infested Mega City to a modern promising development city; a kind of African Dubai of the future. He is very a capable and visionary leader and with Shettima who is a banker, technocrat and a very good administrator as his second,
I have no doubt that given the chance they will provide good governance to Nigerians. But the most important thing for the success of any team in any election is the unity of the party that is sponsoring them.
At this moment, as a party we are all united and we are behind our candidates. We are behind the decisions made by our delegates & leaders. We are behind President Muhammadu Buhari. We are behind the party, we are behind the candidates. So unity in the party signposts the success of the campaign. So far that unity gives me assurance much more than even the capacity of the candidates, that we stand a very good chance of winning the General Elections in 2023; To continue consolidating on the march towards promoting transparency.
Qstn: What areas do you think they will concentrate on if they must deliver when they come to power?
Ans: These guys are not like our past leaders from 1999 till this time; the political leadership recruited to run this political system were statesmen, former Heads of State who had a lot of experience in leadership. But this time around these are dyed in the wool politicians who know that they have to work hard to make things work. Both Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and Shettima, know that they have to work hard to carry everybody along. That I know, they will make an impact immediately. They will not leave anything to chance. If people complain of marginalization, if people complain of discrimination they will instantly address it. They will bring more political inclusiveness in the country. That I know. You know that leadership is a collective team work. The leadership of a country is not the President and the Vice President only. The leadership of the country in a Presidential Multiparty democracy is made up of the executive, legislature, judiciary, as well as the bureaucracy: these four interdependent branches. It is not just the President and Vice President.
So I know that immediately we win the election in 2023, we will sit down to re-calibrate leadership to ensure that the National Assembly Leadership, the Judiciary Leadership, the Bureaucracy Leadership are also reflective of the diversity of our country.
So that all decision making is done with everybody being on the table. No tribe, no region, no religion will be left to feel isolated, marginalized or left behind. What I am saying is that first and foremost they will ensure that there is political stability, there will be political inclusiveness.
Then the second thing, I guess is that they will hit the ground running to ensure that the most urgent problem of this country i.e. insecurity, as a result of hopelessness and joblessness of the youth all over the country is addressed immediately. For me I will advise them to abandon every big project to make sure that all hands are on deck, that opportunities are provided for everybody for us to work and produce what we need in this country. For us to ensure that everybody has something to do. That I know they will do urgently.