The spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof Ango Abdullahi, has blamed the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s to bring visible development to the people on the political system in the country.
According to him, Buhari is a good man who found himself in a wrong system that hamstrung the realization of his good intentions for the country.
Abdullahi, however, said Buhari should welcome politicians who wish to vie for the Presidential ticket of the All Progressive Congress (APC) ahead of 2019 general elections as the outcome of the party primaries and the main election would be a way of assessing his own performance in office.
He told Sun newspaper: “You see, the problem is the system. Buhari may be a good person; he could be a gentleman who wants to work honestly but in a wrong system. It was a system of military fiat when he was a head of state, but the system he finds himself now does not allow him to manoeuvre.
“He has to cross many hurdles and checkpoints at the National Assembly and his party before he can execute anything meaningful, and all these squabbles are not based on principle but personal interests, either at party level or at constituency or at the level of the judiciary.
“All this really will make it impossible for a good person or committed person to operate effectively in this country in the manner which will accelerate development. Perhaps, you might ask the question if we can really change?
“Buhari might not have failed, but the system of government that he is operating in has substantially failed in the same manner as the ones before it.
“You see the fact that Buhari is incumbent does not automatically confer on him the candidature of the party in the next election if there is internal democracy in the party. The fact that you are a sitting president does not mean other members of the party cannot contest against you. If I were Buhari, I will welcome competition in my party.
“This is an opening for democracy in my party and I will ask people to come and test their popularity. If he has done well, people will re-elect him. This is a confirmation he has done well and that both the party and voters trusted him. I criticize all political parties for the system they employ in conducting primary elections.
“The one I am most familiar as good was the one used by Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992, that was a direct primary election, where every member of the party has a chance to come and vote for who will represent him as a councilor, chairman, governor or president. In direct primaries, all parties have chance to come, cue and vote or elect any person of their choice.
“But the current delegate system brings nothing except corruption. Once the parties are corrupt, certainly, government must be corrupt, this is what is happening now all over the country.”