The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Nigeria’s highest Policy research and training Institute has said that many political parties in the country are based on fragile foundations, including godfathers or dominant personalities and ethno-regional alliances.
Director of Research of the Institute and Chief Operating Officer of the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre Habu Galadima who disclosed this at a two day training for party leaders in Abuja also said that political parties in the country have frequently mobilized supporters based on ethno-regional, religious, and personality politics.
Prof Galadima stressed the need to ensure all-inclusiveness in political participation by all members of the political parties; the training was designed based on identified gaps in the management of political parties in the country.
He said “The gaps identified necessitate the review of the training curriculum, and the handbooks. It was fathomed from the baseline and the poll survey that political parties in Nigeria are confronted with quite a number of challenges.”
According to him, Political parties in the country face considerable challenges in the area of internal democracy with party elites frequently manipulating party rules to subvert internal party democracy for their personal political interests.
He said further that it was unfortunate that women, youth and People with Disabilities are particularly disenfranchised within party leadership, occupying a minimal percentage of party leadership positions and having very limited influence on party decision-making.
“Nigerian parties continue to be based on fragile foundations, including godfathers or dominant personalities and ethno regional alliances. Parties have frequently mobilized supporters based on ethno-regional, religious, and personality politics.
“Party development over time also witnessed the dominance of party elites at the expense of members and the use of undemocratic methods by these elites to struggle for control over the parties. For these reasons, Nigeria’s parties have faced particular challenges in building stable identities over time and attracting consistent membership through appeal to particular
“Political parties in Nigeria are conscious of the need to embody and internalize the norms, values and ethos of a democratic society which are anchored on respect for rules, the harvest of diversity and inclusivity, in defining party governance, the formulation of policies when they are in government, and accountability to the general public, both in terms of their Conduct whether they win power or in the opposition.
“It also means the degree of respect for civility of parties and the promotion of virtues such as the rule of law, openness and accountability. We are delighted to note that the curriculum has been revised along with the training modules.”
The training is sponsored by EU -Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria Project (EU SDGN) and aimed at enhancing Internal Democracy and Respect for Rules in Political Parties; Strengthen Adherence to Legal Requirements on Party Funding and Campaign Finance and Strengthen Engagements among lnter-Party Advisory Council (IPA C), Independent National Electoral Commission (NBC) and other Relevant Stakeholders.