Michael Olanrewaju, Ilorin.
A Non-Governmental Organization -Cultural and Societal Value Development Initiatives (CSVDI) has proffered deepening of internal democracy as solution to crisis plaguing political parties in Nigeria.
In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari dated June 23, 2020 signed by its Chairman, Prof. Samuel Adeniyi Ibiyemi and Secretary, Rev. Gabriel J. Olaoye and made available to newsmen in Ilorin, the group charged the President in collaboration with politicians like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to deepen internal democracy in the political fold to end crisis.
According to the NGO, “A successful political party is best adjudged by its internal democracy as intra- party elections remain the best parameter to assess the quality of each political party.”
They therefore called on Mr. President in collaboration with other political bigwigs within the political class to assure internal democracy by wading in to resolve all infractions before the Edo and Ondo States elections.
The group also charged that a true party democracy with a transparent and realistic principles with an inclusive participation by all the members with equal ownership of the party by every member is established. They said, “there shall be proper enforcement of guidelines/ philosophy that will be enshrined in the party constitution that will govern admission of people who desire to decamp from one party to another.
Citing the defunct Action Group (AG) established by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the First Republic as example, the group noted that it will eliminate god-fatherism as “this will provide for free and full opportunities for any person with good ambition to serve but financially weak to explore the platform of the party to contest election without recourse to financier with conditionality that foster god-fatherism.”
CSVDI after reviewing the activities of Governors Forum queried the absence of ALGON Forum saddled with much political power and influence like the Governors. They therefore canvassed the strengthening of the Local Government administration by stating that, “LGA Councils should be assigned greater, if not exclusive responsibilities on land,/agriculture, water resources for irrigation and township water supply, road maintainance, primary health, primary education,and internal security. The Federal and State Government should provide policy framework and monitoring..”
It added that internal democracy would further be strengthened by enforcement of separation of power among the three-tiers of Government for justice and fairplay to reign. This should be coupled with proper review of the constitution on the concurrent and exclusive schedule if functions by the three-tiers of government.
The group expressed concern on the future of democracy, unity and peaceful development in Nigeria taking into cognisance the historical sequence since democratic restoration in 1999.