Former special adviser to former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on agriculture, Professor Ango Abdullahi has described the recent endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari for second term by the governors of the All Progressive Congress (APC), as corruption.
Abdullahi who is also the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) said the action of the governors has shut out other aspirants who might be interested in vying for the position of President in the APC.
In an interview with the Sunday edition of Sun Newspaper, he therefore urged parties to subject themselves to a system of primary elections that is participatory for all members for the best candidate to emerge.
“On the issue of endorsement of President Buhari by APC governors, I see this as corruption and it’s sad that we are fighting against corruption and we render ourselves to it. In fact, this the first place to fight against corruption. With this endorsement people are afraid of contesting elections in their states. Some governors are promoting this.
“Other members of the party should be given chance to participate in open or direct primary to cast their votes for candidates of their choice. This is democracy in the real sense.
“Honestly, direct or open primary elections is the best, and it’s not true that the system is full of confusion and expensive as its critics are saying.”
He suggested that if direct party primaries are adopted it will reduce corruption and maneuver by incompetent candidates who want to get their way into elective office.
He also disagreed with recent calls for youths to set into elective offices stating that recent events have shown that the youths are the worst thieves in government.
“I don’t agree with this view in totality, because from the records we could see that the greatest thieves in government in recent times are mostly people within the age of 40 to 55 years either as governors, senators or head of government parastatals.
“Other countries in Europe and America including our sister nations in Africa are effectively lead by aged persons. In fact, many are above 70 years of age. I think the elderly aged should be an advantage qualification for being president of a country.
“Someone at the age of 70 years will not bother to steal money because he knows that his time in life is coming to an end. Instead, he will concentrate on bequeathing a legacy to the people, not amassing material wealth for himself.
“This is unlike the younger ones who are looking for opportunity to become billionaires to build big hotels in New York, Hawaii, Dubai and so on. These are young men who steal our money and keep it in foreign banks,” he said opining anybody who wants to be president must attain the age of 70 years and above.
Abdullahi also condemned the recent killings across the country urging the government to go back and rethink about what has brought the crisis and coordinate well with other stakeholders.