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Electoral Act: Na’Abba, Ikhariale list gains of amendment

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LAGOS—A former Speaker of the  House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, has said that clause 86 of the Electoral Bill will curb god-fatherism in the political parties.

Na’Abba, who spoke to our reporter on telephone, aleged that most of the parties had been hijacked by some key players in the government and other political godfathers who “dispense favours” to whoever they liked.

The former speaker, who  noted that the proposed amendments will deepen democracy and strengthen internal democracy of parties, argued that members of the National Assembly by virtue of their position ought to sit in the National Executive Council of their parties.

‘As at now, some persons have tended to hijack the parties. The parties heavily patronise the Presidency and the respective state governors, but the National Assembly members who are also key players in the parties are left out without any major input in the parties. So, I think the current amendment will address some of these problems”, the former speaker declared.

Relatedly, the Chairman, House Committtee on Power, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale, said federal lawmakers would not be deterred by ‘sponsored criticisms’ and shy away from doing what he described as in the overall best interest of the nation’s democracy.

Ikhariale,  a lawyer, said Item 56 of the Exclusive list in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, gave  the National Assembly the prerogative to legislate on the conduct of the affairs of political parties, adding that the proposed amendment is, therefore, intended among other objectives to engender internal democracy in the parties.

In another development, the European Union Increasing Non-State Actors’ Implementation and Development Expertise, EU-INSIDE, has pledged to collaborate with non-governmental organisations for the sustenance of democracy in the country.

Programme Officer, South-South of the organisation, Mr. Ambrose Onne Okpu, gave the assurance, yesterday, in Okuokoko, near Warri, Delta State while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of a three_day workshop on Capacity-Building for Relevant Stakeholders on Democracy and Governance organised by Global Peace Development.

He explained that the essence of the workshop was to build capacity towards sustainable democracy in Nigeria, adding that the group was interested on the growth of democracy in the country.

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