Democracy as a system of government operates with political parties that are expected to be run by elected or appointed party leaderships operating under specific constitutions.
The political parties are often referred to as the vehicles through which interested politicians are put forward for elections and they are expected to run government at any of the tiers of government they win, as well as influence public policy.
It is the role of political parties to try to convince the people to vote them into power at any level and they are in turn expected to be held accountable by the people. As a vehicle through which members are elected, it is the duty of the leadership to coordinate activities that lead to success at elections and to ensure that the members so elected comply with the party manifesto. It is the duty of the political parties that win elections at any level to ensure that the rules of engagement in a democracy are followed strictly as a means of winning future elections.
In Nigeria, the two biggest political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) which presently controls the party at the centre and also has more states in the country, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that was in the centre and also controlled a substantial number of the states for 16 years but lost power in 2015, are presently crises-ridden.
It is noteworthy that the difference between the two parties seems to be that between six and half a dozen. There seems to be no sound ideologies that differentiate one from the other. It is no wonder then that members of both parties constantly move from one party to the other in what some political analysts prefer to term ‘political osmosis’.
Recently however, the two parties have been hit by seemingly intractable crises in ways that have left many wondering why this is happening to both a ruling party and the major opposition. The leadership of both parties seems to be overwhelmed by these lingering crises that many are wondering what next for the people and democracy? We expect the party leadership to understand the role of political parties in a democracy and insist on following the rule of law as well as check the overwhelming abuse of power by those using state resources to upturn the system. Ego battle has no place in a viable democracy.
The leadership of both parties must realise that if their internal crises persist, there might be no elections as they may not be in position to effectively conduct both primary and general elections. Those with financial muscle must not take advantage of the political parties. Taking advantage of financial muscle by those in leadership is akin to introducing tyranny into the democratic process.
On the other hand, the smaller political parties must sit up and stop being lethargic about standing up to compete in the political space. It is not enough to just get the political party registered just to sit back and wait for crumbs from the mega parties. It has even been observed that some of them often collude with the highest bidder of the bigger parties to throw political spanners in the works after every election, with frivolous litigations.
The inaction of the smaller parties in standing up to be counted in the political space must worry the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). There must be sanctions which could result in de-registration because, if the smaller parties are not ready to compete, then they are betraying the people by playing either the ostrich or the vulture.
Both the mega parties and the smaller ones must be patriotic enough to play by the rules. Parties must not be hijacked by those who took resources from the people. Our democracy must be made more viable by a deliberate effort by all. We need to uphold the purest tenets of democracy if we must develop our nation.
PDP Challenges Buhari To Expose Terrorism Sponsors Now
Nigeria not interested in naming, shaming, Presidency insists
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, said the refusal by Federal Government to expose sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria had vindicated its position that the All Progressives Congress (APC) government has been “providing official cover for terrorists and bandits pillaging the nation.”
The main opposition party said its position followed the “declaration of the Buhari Presidency that it was not interested in making public, the names of six Nigerians reportedly sent to the Federal Government by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as sponsors of terrorism in our country.”
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, insisted that “the decision of the APC-led government to cover the identity of sponsors of mindless mass killings, maiming, raping, kidnapping of our compatriots, as well as the endless violent marauding of our communities under the APC watch, validates our stand that such individuals have connections with the APC.”
The party went on: “This unpatriotic stance by the Buhari Presidency raises serious national anxieties of high-level complicity in the administration and further explains the reported compromising of our security system in the escalated killings and acts of terrorism in our country in the last six years under the APC.”
The party said it had always alerted of a “connection between the APC and terrorists ravaging various parts of the nation and how the APC, as a party, had always failed to forcefully condemn acts of terrorism in our country.”
REACTING, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated that the current administration was not interested in naming or shaming Boko Haram sponsors and other financiers of terrorism across the federation.
The presidential aide said rather, the government was preoccupied with bringing the “malefactors” to justice. He spoke yesterday evening as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ current affairs programme.
It had earlier been reported that the UAE named and prosecuted six Nigerians and 32 others for allegedly financing terrorism.
Asked to give an update on the prosecution of terror sponsors in the country, Adesina, who is part of the entourage of the President in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, said: “Naming and shaming would not be the motive, rather bringing malefactors to justice would be it.
Edo Deputy Gov, Shaibu Sets To Dump PDP
If close watchers submission are anything to go by, the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu will defect from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP anytime soon.
According to a Vanguard report, if the body language and recent marathon meetings that took place outside the country last week between the Edo Deputy Governor and some party bigwigs in the country, are anything to go by, then Shaibu may dump the PDP anytime from now.
It was gathered that series of meetings took place outside the country, during the deputy governor’s vacation before he returned to Nigeria last week.
A source said: “Philip Shaibu is one man I admire as a political tactician and Maradona in the Edo political space. Quitting PDP may frustrate the developmental plans of the Obaseki’s administration due to his nuts and bolts experience as a voracious student of politics, as well as his sterling track record and pedigree as a fearless and charismatic lawmaker.”
According to the source, there are strong indications that the Deputy Governor may not join any other political party immediately after quitting the PDP.
Another source, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said: “This rumour, however, did not come as a huge surprise to many, because the Deputy Governor was once quoted to have said he merely escorted Governor Godwin Obaseki to PDP.”
The source said it is a widely held belief across Edo State that Shaibu was, no doubt, the major face of the Edo 2020 governorship election, as many still believe that it was an election between Shaibu and his political father, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to secure victory for the incumbent.
However, while some have expressed curiosity that after such hard-earned victory, one wonders the justification for the Deputy Governor to quit the PDP, others have also chided the Governor for operating a one-man show without appointment of cabinet.
A source, familiar with the development said “The Governor’s rigid position on some critical decisions that are now causing considerable disaffection between the Deputy Governor and some of his most loyal and committed supporters, who stood firmly by him, contributed morally and with resources and even risked their lives to deliver the Obaseki/Shaibu ticket and ensure that the Deputy Governor was not disgraced and embarrassed politically in his Constituency, which he shares with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole may have also justified his reason for defection.”
Prior the 2020 Governorship election, Governor Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu had led their supporters to the PDP.
Comrade Shaibu, who spoke to journalists after obtaining his PDP membership card at the party secretariat in Benin City, expressed disappointment over the undemocratic actions and tendencies of Comrade Adams Oshiomole in his management of the APC at the national level.
He said: “I have a mixed feeling with this action. First, one struggled to form a party and after forming that party, those that benefitted from the party took over the party and became tyrants. It is not always easy that after one helped to form and nurture a party, one individual would say he is an Adolf Hitler in the system and becomes undemocratic. That was what happened in the APC.
PDP keeps mum
When contacted, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP spokesperson, Mr. Diran Odeyemi said he was not aware of the development.
But party source said that “it is strange that Obaseki and Shaibu are not in good terms because I know they have a cordial relationship.
“What I know is that there has been a delay in the appointment of commissioners in the state; the governor wants to bring in some APC members who helped him during the Governorship election but the PDP leadership is not disposed to this.
Their argument is that you cannot use our platform without us not benefiting from you. I know that issue has been on ground for sometime now, but it will be resolved.”
NEC Will Announce Decisions Today -PDP Govs
The Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, says a final decision on issues discussed by the governors and other stakeholders will be made public by the National Executive Committee on Thursday.
He announced this while briefing the Press after a seven-hour long closed-door meeting in Abuja, on Wednesday.
Tambuwal said, “We had a very fruitful meeting for about seven hours.
“We discussed issues that will improve our party and prepare us for the 2023 elections.
“We also received briefing from our candidate for the Anambra governorship election.
“Decisions taken will be announced by NEC on Thursday [today].”
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