Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that he is not a member of the African Democratic Congress, ADC.
He urged the party leadership to avoid the same political mistakes that had affected the smooth running of major political parties in Nigeria.
Obasanjo outlined the problems with the two major political parties as image, discipline, commitment and leadership deficit.
Obasanjo said this when he received the National Working Committee, NWC, of the ADC, led by the Chairman, Chief Ralph Nwosu, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
He said in such a short period, the party had become a force to reckon with in Nigeria’s politics.
He said, “Be prudent as a party, and uphold its uniqueness of being members’ driven party, where its members are the financiers and not a few money bags.”
He explained that being prudent would help in no small way in preventing the party from toeing the path of past governments in terms of using “government money directly or indirectly to fund the party.”
The ex-President added, “I am happy that the party has become a credible alternative to the other two parties in such a short period. I have said it many times that I am not a member of ADC; I will, however, provide guidance where necessary. You have to make sure that you are guided by the vision of the party at all times, and continue to accord women and youths the chance to participate without discrimination.
“The major parties, right now, have image deficit, discipline deficit, commitment deficit, and leadership deficit. Once you are able to ensure that you are not found wanting in all these areas, you would have conquered the major challenges of running an ideal party that will produce credible leaders; and there must be internal democracy.”
He, therefore, advised ADC leaders at all levels to focus on their short, medium and long-term objectives, noting that, in the short term, ADC would have an impressive number of lawmakers at the House of Representatives and Senate, control a good number of state governments, and also work in collaboration with other parties to form the right government at the federal level.
“Once this is done, your short-term objective has been achieved. You can then focus on your medium-term objective. However, the only thing that can uphold a political party is morality. You can’t be a party condoning indiscipline,” he said.