By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has lamented the growing resort of political parties to lie their way to power.
According to him, it is “political malpractice” for any government to administer the country without making references to its political party manifesto.
This was as he regretted the lack of capacity among Nigeria’s 68 registered political parties, describing them as weak, unstable and lacking functional party apparatus, while suffering from low organisational capacity and internal democracy.
“In Africa and Nigeria in particular, political parties are weak, lacking not only a stable and functioning party apparatus, but also a clear programmatic appeal. They also suffer from low organisational capacity and a lack of internal democracy,” he said.
Parties lie to get to power
“It is worthy to mention that in an attempt to either capture or hold on to power, some political parties have sometimes embellished their manifestos with unrealistic promises.
“It is political malpractice for an elected government to govern without referring to the manifesto that was placed before the voters, which essentially formed the basis of their election. Political parties must ensure that they relate their manifestos to a strategic framework which carry the development vision of the entire nation.”
Dogara spoke, yesterday, in Abuja at the opening of a two-day retreat on ‘’The Dynamics of Managing Political Parties Professionally,” organised by Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
Represented by Minority Whip of the House, Yakubu Umar Barde, the speaker said: “For political parties to effectively play the central role in a democratic representation, they must be managed and operated in such a manner as to establish trust among the electorate.
“Weak political parties cannot support democracy as parties are expected to serve many important functions, including citizen mobilisation, interest aggregation, public policy formulation, leadership recruitment and government organisation.”
On his part, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, advocated inclusiveness in the management of political parties in the country.
Represented by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Abdullahi Sabi, the Senate President said: “We must appreciate and understand the roles of political parties in a democratic society like Nigeria.
“Many have argued that the parties have adopted an elite structure aimed at checkmating the influence of the masses. I cannot say this is further from the truth. This is because participation is the key ingredient for acknowledgement or acceptance.”