A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Mr. Fouad Oki has said the party in the state is bleeding profusely due to impunity and urgently in need of a surgical intervention to stop the bleeding and restore its lost glory.
Oki, a former Vice Chairman of the party and a chairmanship aspirant in the forthcoming state congress of the party, said if elected, he would immediately embark on a process to rehabilitate, reconstruct and more importantly all aggrieved members to the fold.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Gazelle News.com, Oki said every effort must be mustered to fight impunity and take the party to its preeminent status where it respects the rule of law and level playing field for all members.
“I aspire to lead our party for very obvious reasons. Today, our party is in comatose. Our party is bleeding and bleeding profusely too, and we must understand that our party requires a surgical procedure to take it back to its preeminent status of a progressive family. Our party needs very clearly today what I called the three “Rs’; a process of rehabilitation, a process of reconstruction and more importantly to bring together everyone that has been taken or shut out of the party’s window.
“The party today needs leadership with a new direction and that is all I offer – unity, unity and unity. Today, our party has not been this divided. Unfortunately, Lagos political system was founded on a progressive model which gives everybody a sense of inclusion. Unfortunately today, our party lacks that and that is what I am aspiring to do; to lead a party where no one would be left out or shut out; where unity would be the order of the day; where leadership born out of integrity and capacity would hold sway. That is all I aspire to do. I want our people to come together again,” Oki said.
Asked the reason for the fragmentation of the party in Lagos, Oki said godfatherism had dealt a big blow on the chances of the party, and it must not be allowed to stand as the party prepares for a major election in the coming years.
“The party is not fragmented; there is no party today in Lagos. It is when you have a party that you begin to talk about being fragmented. We don’t have a party and we need one to support our government. Impunity has gotten us to this state and lack of respect for rule of law. We stopped respecting our own rules; and that is why we found ourselves where we are today and we create this sense of godfatherism believing that you can be nothing unless some people make you and the situation where monkey dey work baboon dey chop. That is what we have and that is what caused the problems where today thousands and thousands who believe so much in the ideals of progressivism are made to work and sacrifice for the party; and then the party would have a government that would shut the windows of opportunity against its own members,” he said.
Oki said he would ensure that party members take ownership of the party by contributing to funding of the party through payment of dues, as against the present system where few moneybags control the party on account of being the financiers of the party.
He also promised to provide 300,000 jobs for party members within three months of assuming office, as well as 3million votes in the 2023 general elections.
“I intend to ensure first and foremost that our party is an enabler of economic and commercial activity. Let me shock you, if elected as chairman, within three months of assuming office, our party will employ over 300,000 workers in various levels of party administration and management. We must take a look at the ANC model of fund-raising. Now, Americans call it crowd funding. We will not crowd-fund for the party, we would get members of the party to take ownership and fund their party without relying on the government.
“Within the first three weeks, I will energize an employment of 110,000 party members at 10 members per polling unit which in itself will be the beginning of mobilization, advocacy and engagement of Lagosians to begin to believe in our party and ready to vote for us at the next general elections. I am a man that says and do as I have said. And so if elected, I can promise Lagosians and sign an undertaking that if I am unable to give to our party a minimum of 3 million votes in 2023, I will resign. I know where the votes are; I know how to reach out to the votes. We must stimulate economic activities in supporting our party to stimulate and generate employment not directly but indirectly and I know where it is,” Oki said.
Watch out for the full interview of Fouad Oki coming in your favourite online newspaper, The Gazelle News.com