Mr. Tope Fasua is the Presidential aspirant and Protem National Chairman, Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party, (ANRP). In this interview with some newsmen, Fasua speaks on the political system in the country and other national issues. CHIBUZO UKAIBE, was there.
Nigerians have tested the PDP and the ruling APC; how is your party different from these two parties?
ANRP is a party formed by ordinary Nigerians and not owned by money bags, the party is the most transparent party in Nigeria. We tender accounts for monies we collect twice a month to show accountability and transparency.
We source our money from contributions from members of the party, as the constitution stipulates, we cannot take more than 20 million naira from an individual.
Internal party democracy is one major challenge facing most political parties, is your party immune from this?
ANRP follow the dictates of our party constitution. We have a clear cut constitution that spelt out everything and as a party that believes in the rule of law, there can be such in our party. If a party can manage the affairs of its members, how can such party manage the country?
It is important to get internal culture right in a party. Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) is share the money, and they foist it onto the nation. APC is equally not different. The security agencies are not on the same page with each other. That is the failure from the intelligence angle and if you fail in that angle, you fail everywhere.
APC failed to build unity and cohesion among Nigerians. We in ANRP want to build unity among Nigerians; we should not see ourselves as races in Nigeria. The youths have to protect and guard the country themselves. In the same vein, we have to strengthen our military capability.
Are the youths ready to take over leadership position in the country?
The youths are definitely ready to assume leadership positions in the country, all they need is empowerment so as to be proactive. Nigeria still has patriotic youths who are willing and ready to serve the country. Most of our leaders today started as youths, Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Buhari and the rest of them, those who get into power never want to leave because power comes with protection and money.
Nigerian youths should get serious for once. We as youths should display readiness for taking over leadership and shouldn’t allow ourselves to be used.
As the party chairman, you are equally aspiring for the presidential seat, are there no other credible candidates in your party?
I cannot tell anybody not to aspire, the foundation of the party is to enable everybody to aspire. Many people that aspire mean more money for the party, as they will pay their dues, which is the way the party raises its fund. I am the second aspirant in the party.
We are not been paid to run the party. Every executive member contributes his money to run the party. Anybody that is a legitimate member who pays their dues can aspire. We are not just about the presidency; we aspire for seats in other positions too.
With 68 registered political parties in existence and just few are very active, do we need a multi party system?
What Nigeria operates is a pseudo one party system. We have a one party system and the basis for this is money. We need another party that can challenge the ruling party, we don’t need regional party and we need a national party.
We are the only party that has coherent executives in 33 states, APC and PDP does not have it.
As the 2019 election approaches, we see politicians defecting from one party to the other, what is your take on this?
Politicians cross carpeting lacks ideology; the way they jump from one party to the other at will, is a clear indication that they lack ideology. ANRP will not collect a dime from criminals”.
The media should give Nigerians the opportunity for a rebirth. They should stop portraying some parties as major political parties, they were not entrenched into the constitution, they were formed like the others too. It will be a disservice to the rest of us who are striving to hard to make sure we build a vibrant party.
Is your party thinking of a merger with other political parties?
ANRP is open, we are open to those who share our ideas and ethos, the constitution makes provision for that. We are 51,493 members, we welcome individuals who want to join us but not as groups. We are open to new ideas they have to look into our constitution before they join us. Our idea is option A4. The focus of the leadership of the party now is where we can take ANRP to and set a new standard.
Recently, you lamented about our politics been monetised, how does your party intend to tackle this?
One of the cardinal objectives of the party is to dissuade the minds of the electorate from money politics. APC and PDP don’t tender their account to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC). These parties spend more than INEC stipulate for electioneering, yet, it cannot prosecute them. INEC cannot prosecute the president’s party, if a party refuses to tender its account it is an impeachable offence.
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