Monday, 26 February 2018

NPPDS2018 - Representatives From Three Major Political Parties speak on Internal Party Democracy

Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in collaboration with OSIWA on Thursday, 22nd of February, 2019 held its first Nigerian Political Parties Discussion Series (NPPDS2018). The discussion was aimed at equipping the populace with information on internal party democracy and instigate citizen engagement as the 2019 General Election draws near.

The event was held at prestigious Sheraton Hotel and Towers and it had top politicians, Media personalities and key stakeholders in attendance. Members of the panel of discussant were political party representatives from mainstream political parties in Nigeria; APC, PDP, KOWA, APGA and Deputy Director, Independent National Electoral Commission, Shehu Wahab.

According to Head of Programmes, CDD, Shamsudeen Yusuf, “The discussion series has become crucial at this point of transitioning in Nigeria. It will stimulate progressive conversations for improved political economy and address major issues such as party campaigns funding, inclusion, registration, primary elections among others.
Ace broadcaster and journalist Kadaria Ahmed who moderated the discussion said “Nigeria needs political parties that know what they are doing and not just getting into power and then forgetting about the people.’’ She further led the panelist on discussions that bothers on: Who funds political parties? What are the processes of electing flag-bearers? Inclusion in political process and compliance of rules that guide the party.

Representative of Alliance Progressive Congress APC Rinsola Abiola stated that the party is funded by dues and donations from members, On inclusion, Rinosola revealed that the APC is opened to every Nigerian who is above 18 years and that President Buhari in adherence to APC stand on inclusion has an SA on disability.

The representative of People Democratic Party revealed that the party is funded by the over 40million Nigerians registered members who pay dues of one hundred naira each. PDP is gender sensitive, we have given our women waver from paying certain fees to encourage their participation in political process. We also support youth in ways we can to ensure their full participation, he said.

Record and events have shown that KOWA comes first when it comes to women participation-KOWA Party Representative, Mark Adebayo said. He expressed that KOWA is the only party that represents the voiceless with the aim of projecting the voices of Nigerians at the grassroots.

“We represent the voiceless, the oppressed and hopeless. We have created opportunities for inclusions and equity. Women, young people and people living with disabilities are given equal opportunities in our party” said Adebayo.

Shehu Wahab, a Deputy Director, at the Independent National Electoral Commission, said that internal democracy in political parties still remained the major setback faced by the Commission with regards to elections.

He said for INEC to hold a credible election in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck, adding that with the support of political parties and other stakeholders, Nigeria would win.

However, Aisha Osori, an Author and a one time candidate for the house of representatives for AMAC/Bwari constituency lamented the difficulties and frustrations usually encountered in the process of registration into mainstream parties, it is full of bottlenecks she said. 

Idayat Hassan, Director CDD, said that the event was organised to start a discussion ahead of the 2019 elections on what political parties had to offer to the masses.

Hassan said: “This is very imperative because we cannot even have the delivery of public goods and services if we do not institutionalize political party system and its goals in our democracy.

“So it takes a party to have internal democracy before it can work towards delivering development to the people that is the reason why CDD has put up this event ahead of the 2019 general election.

“We want to start looking at all the processes of the political parties so that Nigerians can know how parties run, how inclusive they are and how democratic in the real sense they are.”

Hassan said this would go a long way to showcase the serious political parties with good manifestos that would deliver dividends of democracy and develop the nation.

She said that with this, Nigerians would know what each party was offering them so they could hold them accountable if they fail to meet their campaign promises.

Hassan said that this was because most parties just come together to win elections without even knowing the goals of the party, adding that parties needed to have well defined processes in place.





















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