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Teamwork between public office holders, deputies critical to democracy – Jonathan



Former President Goodluck Jonathan says a good working relationship between a Deputy Governor, Governor, President and Vice- President is critical to democracy and good governance.

Jonathan made this known on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of a book titled:” Deputising and Governance in Nigeria” written by Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.

The former president said this is critical to avoid issues that usually crop up after either the candidate or the party might have selected the running mate.

“To address the issue of presidential and governorship running mates both candidates should contest the party’s ticket at primary.

“For you to qualify to run for the primaries as a governorship candidate, you should run with your deputy, same thing at the federal level.

“For you to run as a president, you need to run with a deputy, if the political parties think that the pair is okay for them and when they vote for that pair, nobody will raise issues after the primaries.

“But here, we are in a situation where issues are being raised after primaries because selection of a Vice-President is becoming a problem.

“I believe, maybe at the state level the selection of the running mate to the governor is also becoming a problem,” the former president said.

He explained that every country amends their laws based on the challenges they were faced with, saying that this was one area that Ganduje raised in his book which should be discussed by Nigerians.

He, however, noted that a good working relationship and understanding between a deputy governor and the governor and the president and Vice-President was critical to a functional democracy and good governance.

Jonathan, who was the chairman of the occasion, said he was pleased to be invited, adding that public office holders had a lot to learn from the book, drawing from Ganduje’s experiences.

“Ganduje did so much detailing the qualities a deputy governor should possess to gain the trust of his principal and the roles the chief executive should play to be able to cultivate a good working relationship in political leadership.

“I believe public office owners have so much to learn from the narratives in the book, especially drawing from Ganduje’s personal experience,” Jonathan said.

The former president also said that the rampant impeachment of Deputy Governors was another grey area that needed to be looked into not just by the National Assembly, but by Nigerians generally.

“I must admit that the issue of the book resonates clearly with experience of Ganduje and myself.

“With both of us sharing a similar political trajectory of having serve as deputy governors at the same time, and eventually taking over from our principals.

“In fact, I got the better of Dr Ganduje in this regard, because I moved on also to become the Vice- President and later become a president,” he said.

He said he was glad that Ganduje had been able to document his experience for the benefits of all.

This, he said, was especially in climes where the relationship between elected political leaders and their deputies had not always been very cordial and where such deputies hardly succeeded their principals.

Jonathan said having worn both shoes, he was in a better position to identify the pressure and friction points and advise on the way forward for harmonious relationship between the principals and their deputies.

This, he said, was critical to to improving our democracy and the lives of citizens.

“The issue of deputy governors and governors is actually something we all need to ponder.

“I remember when we were elected in 1999, in some states the relationship between the Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect became frosty even before the inauguration.

“To me, I’m thinking that the National Assembly should look at it,” Jonathan said.

He also said the rampant impeachment of deputy governors who do not appear to agree with their governors on some issues was another grey area that must be looked into by the National Assembly.

Earlier, Ganduje said the publication which chronicled his years of experience in the Nigeria project, was one of the defining moments of his life in public service.

This, he said, was principally as two-term Deputy Governor and presently serving his second and last tenure in office as a governor of Kano State.

“My decision to embark on this imperatively and auspicious project is to share my first-hand experience in this thought provoking, fascinating and worthwhile journey

“The book tells numerous experiences relating to principal and deputy relations in the Nigerian political system, reflecting the successful and evil times,” Ganduje said.

Ganduje said proceeds from the book launch would be invested in his foundation: Ganduje Foundation to positively impact on the lives of the less privileged.

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Emmanuel Mogbede

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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