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Quest for party internal democracy

Quest for party internal democracy

It is now over 22 years that Nigeria returned to democratic system of government after 16 years of military regime. It seems that nothing has changed with the way political parties in Nigeria are conducting the affairs of their party. 

The tragedy now is that we are yet to have distinct political parties structures that represents modicum ideals of democracy. We have about 50 political parties registered by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but not one of them can be said to have ideals of democracy in the running of their internal affairs. They are mostly designed as special purpose machinery to put career politicians in the corridors of power nearness to our commonwealth.

Just over the weekend, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) convention held over the weekend only highlighted that political parties are still far away from exhibiting democratic ideals in their internal party affairs. 

The convention just like the previous one held in 2017 shows that it is the governors on the platform of the party that literally handpicked members of the next National Working Committee and other electives position of the party. The only difference between the two is that there’s no walkout from the ground of the convention by stakeholders as witnessed in 2017.

What was the purpose of the convention? If it can not be said, it follows due process as practice all over the world. The new leadership of the party was a selection and not an election. The convention only ratified the prepared list of the eventual excos. Iyorchia Ayu and his team as approved by earlier arrangements emerged as excos, except for some case that includes the slot of national deputy chairman south that produced Arapaja that went all the way through an election by delegates. All in all, it was padi padi things which can be succinctly put as arrangements.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) case is even worse. More that six years after taking power, the APC has not been able to hold a convention or form a Board of Trustees. This was evident in the recently conducted state congress that produced like 92 state chairmen for 36 states. Its leaders are divided, and the reason for such can not be far-fetched, it is the lack of ideals of democratic principles in the running of the affairs of the party.  

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Whether APC would be having their convention is still hanging, except they find a way to resolve all disputes that arises from the state congress. Even with all these, will it follows democratic ideals as practised in a saner clime?

How can political parties that lack democratic ideals,  if eventually elected, deepen democratic process and progress of the country?

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