The statement made by the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawal that, the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC) will face serious challenges after 2023 is worrisome, especially to proponents of political mentorship.
He said the APC may face challenges after the exit of President Buhari from office, except timely interventions are taken by the ruling party to avert defeat.
Lawan, who gave the warning recently in a speech delivered to close the First Progressives Youth Conference 2021 in Abuja, stressed that the party must begin to plan ahead to sustain the goodwill and legacies of the present administration by ensuring that there is a functional leadership recruitment programme in the party that will ensure that its current leaders hand over power to competent youths in the All Progressives Congress.
According to him, by doing so, the party would be able to retain its appeal and nationalistic outlook beyond the 2023 general election.
He said: “Whether we like it or not, the truth is, President Muhammadu Buhari remains the person with the bulk of the support we get across this country in APC. And when he leaves, he would still have some roles, but I dare say that it is after he leaves office that APC will face its challenge. Yes, we have to know our value then, and the value of APC presently is APC minus President Muhammadu Buhari. Whatever it is, that is the value of APC.
“So, we need to do a lot to build this party, and we need our youths more than ever before for them to continue with this legacy that this administration has established all over the country. That means we have to see ourselves as brothers and sisters regardless of where we come from.”Senator Lawan’s position on the state of the ruling party got many Nigerians thinking. It also triggered the question: what legacy will the President leave behind beyond 2023. One question some Nigerians are also asking is, if there is a big crack in the house of the ruling party, how will it affect the country? What will be the hope of the nation at large?
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Though, crack in a political party is not new to Nigeria, as every political party will have its own share once in a while, however, many political leaders believe an unstable ruling party will extend the state of instability across the polity. This explains why the health of a mega ruling party like the APC is extensively tied to the health of the country’s political life.
Aside from a virile and vibrant ruling party, the president is also expected to leave one united and workable Nigeria beyond 2023 as a good legacy. President Muhammadu Buhari has put in more than six years in office. And as he’s constitutionally allowed a maximum of eight years in office, he has about two years left.
But, given that the next presidential election is on February 18, 2023, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, with pre-election politicking kicking in at least six months earlier, Buhari has just one and a half years to make any real difference before he leaves office.
It’s important to understand that, just as power is transient, time equally flies fast. As we move towards 2023 what should concern President Buhari and all other political office holders should be the legacy after their tenure.
Passing on a positive legacy improves ties among people across generations. On a similar note, passing on a bad legacy can ultimately be destructive. Leaving a lasting legacy forges lasting connections because it is instinctive for people to preserve legacies when they have a common ground.
The President came to power on the premise of stabilising the country on three fronts- security, economy and anti-corruption war.
It is believed in many quarters that, if President Muhammadu Buhari must achieve visible landmarks within his tenure, the administration must make self-evaluation on a daily basis as the administration approaches its twilight. The government must pick each segment to X-ray low hanging fruits where actions can be concluded within a short timeline.
One of such low hanging fruits he can explore is to set Nigeria on the pathway to functional federalism before he ends his tenure in 2023.
While many Nigerians support President Muhammadu Buhari’s focus on security, youth employment and economic diversification, and anti-corruption, others are of the view that, President Buhari may not achieve optimal success in these areas if he does not take ownership of the clamour for the restructuring of the Nigerian state which will ensure that Nigeria effectively produces a new constitution that will guide the conduct of the 2023 election.
This should be one clear legacy the government can focus on to achieve what will reverberate long after 2023.
As things are in Nigeria today, the successes or failures of various strategic policies are enveloped in the degree of decentralisation that will be enabled by the Nigerian Constitution. Whether it is security, corruption or economic development, there is a special parcel for each inside the restructuring mega package. This is an option the Buhari government will not regret if explored. It is the right legacy he should leave behind after 2023.