The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, has urged the party to stop the culture of imposition of candidates to move ahead of the competition.
Okorocha said this in his remarks at the 1st Progressive Governors-Legislative-Civil Society Roundtable, with the theme: ‘Improving Governance through transparent budgeting, accountability and effective public financial management’, in Abuja, on Monday.
The Imo State governor, who said he was aligning himself to comments made by a previous speaker, said the 2015 general election was for the APC to win or lose.
According to him, the outcome of the recent opinion polls conducted by APC’s foreign consultant was a true reflection of what was on ground.
He noted that for the APC to form government in 2015, it must do things differently.
Okorocha said, “Our victory is in our hands it is left for us to make it or mar it, but I believe we can make it. I believe that this issue of imposition of candidates must stop in APC and that is the only way.
“The masses know us better, when they say this is the candidate that can win the election he is the candidate let there be liberal democracy.”
Turning to the theme of the gathering, he said, if we keep doing the same old things, the same old way, we will get the very same results.
According to him, most of the time, our budgetary system from conception to execution was faulty hence the need for change.
Earlier in his remarks, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, said when APC forms government at the federal level, it will reintroduce tolls along major highways to generate the required revenue to maintain the roads.
He explained that just as government had responsibility to the people, the people equally have civic responsibility to perform.
While making a case for true federalism, he said states must be allowed to develop at their pace.
He said, “Why must the governor of the oil rich Rivers and the revenue rich Lagos, earn the same salary and allowances with the governors of Osun and Gombe?”
Adeyeye also explained that Nigerians must begin to take ownership of their country and government. This partnership he explained will ensure progress for the nation.
He said in most parts of the world, it was no longer the practice to leave everything to government alone because there are contending needs especially in the area of infrastructural development.
On the development of road infrastructure for example, he said, “By the grace of God, when the APC forms government, we will restore tolls and they will be properly managed.”
In a communiqué issued at the end the event the Progressives Governors Forum, stressed the need to put in place a time table for the national budget to ensure that the budgeting process is not subject to the whims of the Federal Government.
The gathering was attended by a former Head of State, General Mohammadu Buhari, the governors of Rivers, Mr. Rotimi Ameachi and his Imo State counterpart, Mr. Rochas Okorocha and the Deputy Governor of Kano State Dr. Umar Ganduje.
Discussants at the roundtable also argued in favour of the strengthening of our institutional structures at all levels to ensure accountability.
The communiqué said there was an urgent need to “put in place a national budget time table to ensure that the budgeting process is not subject to the whims of the Federal Government.”
Other recommendations include: “Structures and institutions at all levels must be strengthened to ensure accountability in budgeting;
“The budgeting process must be designed based on sector plans, not mere statements of intended expenditure or mere line budgeting to be executed at the whims of the civil service.
“There must be provision for closing figure for the previous year before any new budget is presented.”