The Independent National
(INEC) has expressed serious concerns over lack of internal
democracy in the political parties,
describing it as the biggest challenge confronting Nigeria parties.
INEC's Director of Election and
Party Monitoring, Aminu Idris,
made the disclosure on the sideline at a workshop organised by West Minster Foundation for
Democracy in collaboration with
the Commission in Abuja on
The Director, however admitted that there has been progress
in the development of political
parties since 1999 till today,
equipping that the dominance of
one godfather is now a thing of
Commenting on the trust of the
workshop and the challenge of
monitoring political parties, the
INEC Director said: "The Commission in collaboration with West
Minster Foundation for Democracy had commissioned Professor Jibrin to develop indices that
can be used to monitor the political parties and which they can use
to assess themselves.
"The assessment is to ensure
that the political parties are playing the roles they are supposed
to play like enhancing democracy
and making it sustainable and buy
in a social medium for governance.
"The biggest challenge facing
INEC monitoring political party
is lack of internal democracy
whereby parties don't allow
members to fully participate in
the activities of political parties
in the policy and election of the
candidates of the party.
"They have no input as to how
the party is run. Lack of internal
democracy is really one the biggest challenge facing INEC monitoring the political parties.
"In terms of sanctioning the
parties, our role is to ensure that
the parties are in compliance with
their own constitution. We monitor their activities and ensure that
such activities are in compliance
with the provision of the party
constitution and when we find
fault, we often write letters, requesting that they comply.
"Sometimes their members
equally petition the Commission
and we will look at the illegal implications and write them letters.
I also have to say that there is
progress in our party development since 1999 till today. The
dominance of one godfather is
now a thing of the past, " he said.
Equally speaking on the sideline of the workshop, the National
Chairman Inter-Party Advisory
Council (IPAC), Leonard
Nzenwa, said that what will be
the biggest takeaway would be to
strategise and ensure that no political party chairman emerge as presidential candidate of its party.
"I think the political parties
need to do a lot to broaden the
scope and capacity of their functionaries to discharge their duties.
For now, what we are trying to
do is to elevate the status of IPAC
as a body. The elevation is to ensure that every functionary of a
political party has some level of
capacity internally and externally
to see how we can get membership.
"There is different between the
structure and membership of a
political party. The political parties are not well to do, and it is
only when we have strong and
healthy parties that we talk about
a very strong democracy.
"The parties must ensure that
the membership is broad by opening the space for all kinds of membership. The party should not be
owned by an individual or hijacked by a cabal or particular
group. Political parties should be
regarded as a civic entity where
anybody can come in and go out,
Enumerating the hurdles facing
political parties, he said: "Some
of the challenges we have in the
past is that people see political
parties as their property, their
business and that has led to a situation where somebody who claims
to be party chairman is holding
the party's ticket as presidential
"Such is completely abhorrent
and should not be encouraged. We
are going to ensure that no political party in this country will field
the chairman as presidential candidate.
"One of the greatest challenges
is to find a way to raise resources
to undertake the enormous responsibility and that is why we
are, he said.