NIPSS decries dearth of ideology by political parties
The Director-General, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Prof. Habu Galadima, has lamented the dearth of ideology by political parties in the country.
Galadima, who spoke with newsmen at the opening ceremony of a roundtable discussion in Abuja tagged “Political Parties, Party Ideologies and National Interest”, stressed the need for political parties to have clear cut ideologies that would help them deliver dividends of democracy.
According to him, without strong foundation and clear-cut ideologies, it will be difficult for the political system to operate effectively.
“NIPPS has been interested in strengthening political parties so that they can deliver effectively on democracy. We feel that political parties should have clear-cut ideologies and that their ideologies should reflect their aspirations. This should also have alternative policies, which, when elected, they will be able to implement.
“It is not possible for all the political parties to be the same, it is important that political party leaders can be identified with particular ideologies, particular positions on national issues and so on,” Galadima said.
He decried the inability of some political parties to know where to draw the line between criticism and issues of national interest, urging politicians, especially those in opposition parties, to put national interest first when commenting on issues affecting the country.
“The quality of discussion in the political terrain at the moment is not very healthy. People should know what is national interest. For instance, when a country is facing security challenges, what do we do? Today, we find political parties making comments that are demoralising.
“In every country, political parties rally round when it comes to issues of national interest, that doesn’t stop them from providing alternative views about national issues.
“It is important that we recognise that and ensure that political parties focus more on their ideologies to help their colleagues to also align with their ideologies rather than humping from one political party to the other,” the NIPPS boss said.
Also speaking at the event, the Project Coordinator of European Union Centre for Electoral Support, Hamza Fassi-Fihri, stressed the importance and roles of political parties in the society.
“Political parties play a key role in democracy because they are the ones who intermediate between the populace and the government. For the population to make their choice, they have to be informed and choose on grounds that are known to everybody.
These grounds are ideologies, it is important for political parties to distinguish themselves on the basis of ideas of visional society. This is what ideology is all about,” he said.