After weeks of intense debates, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, have finally adopted a manifesto, in which they enunciated plans to tackle corruption in Nigeria.
The parties had, in February, announced their plan to merge into one party to be known as All Progressives Congress, APC.
Consequently, the parties went into series of meetings during which it agreed on the constitution, manifesto, logo, motto and slogan.
Some of the documents are to be submitted alongside the application for registration to the Independent National Electoral Commission at the end of the national conventions of the parties, where the merger is to be approved by members.
According to the manifesto, exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the association spells out an ambitious action plan to aggressively tackle corruption, which a source said generated hot argument before it was finally adopted last week.
Some members of the association reportedly canvassed the need to include specific details, which will endear it to Nigerians above the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which it believes has not done well in that regard since assuming power at the federal level about 13 years ago.
The APC specifically declared in the 29-page document that if it comes to power in 2015, it would not only renegotiate oil deals, but would also remove the secrecy surrounding the ownership of 40% of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, and query the utilisation of the over N50 trillion oil revenue it claimed accrued to the Federation Account in the last 13 years PDP has been in power.
During the period, the PDP produced three Presidents, namely Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007), Umaru Yar’Adua (2007-2010) and incumbent Goodluck Jonathan (2010 till date).
The 20-member APC Manifesto (Logo, Slogan and Motto) Committee was headed by Audu Ogbeh, a former National Chairman of the PDP.
“We shall negotiate oil deals, unveil the secrecy surrounding the ownership of 49% of the Nigeria Liquefied, NLNG, query the over N50 trillion Oil Revenue which accrued to the Federation Account between 2000 and 2013 and recover billions of US Dollars which Ministries, Departments and Agencies, failed to remit to the Federation Account,” the association declared on Section 1 Page 5 of the adopted manifesto.
The APC also declared that it would not only strengthen and make independent the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and other anti-graft agencies by repealing the laws which inhibit their independent, it would also review public service rules and financial regulations which currently permit outrageous impropriety in public finances.
It also promised to push for the removal of the immunity clause in the constitution which shields the president, vice president, governors and deputy governors from prosecution while in office.
“APC in Government shall muster the political will to wage strident war against corruption; otherwise our post-oil-economy will be disastrous,” the manifesto stated.
“It is our considered view that none of our cardinal programs will succeed if the current level of corruption and looting going on in the land is allowed to continue.
“We shall plug all leakages which accelerate monumental corruption, recover looted funds, cap and trim unwarranted allowances to public office holders.”
With a view to sanitising the electoral process if it comes to power, the APC also adopted for its manifesto some recommendations of the defunct Electoral Reform Committee, otherwise known as Uwais Panel, set up by late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
Among the recommendations listed on Page 6 under the same section, are that it will “make the appointment of the chairman and top officials of the National and State Electoral Commissions public” and that the “Burden of Proof shall rest on the Electoral Commissioners.” It did not expatiate on the recommendations.
On power, APC said in Section 4 Page 8 of the document that it will pursue the expansion of electricity generation and distribution of up to 40,000 megawatts in the four to eight years of its administration.
It added, “The party will also work assiduously at making available power from renewable energy sources such as coal solar, wind and biomass for domestic and industrial use, whenever these prove viable.”
The APC also said in Section 23 Page 25 of the manifesto that, upon its assumption of office, it will begin wide consultations to amend the Constitution with a view to decentralizing the police command and expand local content.
It also promised to establish a well-trained, adequately equipped and goals-driven Serious Crime Squad to combat terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy, ethno-religious and communal clashes nationwide.
On politics and governance enunciated in Section 24 Page 26 of the document, APC promised among other things, to initiate action to amend the constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states and local governments in order to entrench Federalism and the Federal Spirit; remove immunity from prosecution for elected public officers in criminal cases; ensure full implementation of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act so that government held data set can be requested and used by the media and public at large and then publish at large, and then on regular basis; and restructure government for a leaner, more efficient and less expensive public service.
“APC believes that our politics is broke. Our nation urgently needs fundamental political reform and improvement in governance to make it more transparent and accountable,” the manifesto stressed.
On the social scene, APC also said it would not only invest in massive human capital that would encourage the youth, it promised to “assist Nollywood to fully develop into world-class industry that can compete effectively with Hollywood and Bollywood in due course.