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Leaders are responsible for crises in parties, says UAC


Dr. Muiz Banire

The Convener, United Action for Change (UAC), Dr. Muiz Banire, (SAN) has called for intra-party democracy groupings to move the nation forward and end the crises in most groupings. Banire lamented that most political parties in the country lacked internal structure, thus frustrating the democratic system in recent years.He spoke at the third annual public lectures/symposium of UAC tagged: “Democracy without Internal Party Democracy: A Myth?” held at Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja.

Also at the event were a former national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Lai Olurode; director-general, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Garba Abari; Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Ayo Atsenuwa and Resident Electoral Commission (REC), Mike Ighini.

Banire who expressed optimism that the country would be better if political parties members were included in their decision-making and deliberations. He noted that lack of intra-party democracy shifted the position of the law, which formerly regarded primary elections of parties as internal affair.

Sequel to these, the country has seen that failure of political parties to comply with their own rules and the general laws of the land in choosing candidates and running their affairs have destroyed all democratic ethos, he said. Banire contended that the public needed to be sensitised and instilled with discipline in the political atmosphere to ensure that posterity would have a better corner for everyone in history.

He said: “The time is most auspicious to discuss the topic: ‘Democracy Without Internal Party Democracy’ as the 2019 elections are gathering storm, politicians are jostling for the season and the ominous signs of trouble have started gathering wings ready to assault our sensibilities again as a people.

“Recent events preparatory and sequel to the Ekiti and Osun 2018 governorship elections have shown that the issue of internal party democracy needs be given further attention across all political parties in Nigeria.“It is indisputable that the number of pre-election cases that trail every election in Nigeria is as multitudinous as the election petitions that arise thereafter.”

The former National Legal Adviser of the APC lamented that “rulers” within political parties had formed the habit of winning primary elections while some would not even allow them to hold.He noted that such attitude has filtered into inter-party elections, and has led to massive rigging, unleashing of violence during polls, vote buying and monetization of balloting, among others.

“Accompanying this ugly situation are all forms of evil resulting in loss of lives, limbs and properties. No civilised society will allow such political succubus to dominate its political life by which its economic existence and social advancement are determined.”He noted that the programme was to protect the society from endemic prejudices that have pulverized the psyche of the people.

“We realise that people who elect bad leaders are not victims but accomplices, as a philosopher once said. To this end, we in UAC, have decided to educate our people, instill discipline in the political atmosphere in the little way we can in order to ensure that posterity would have a better corner for us in history.“We have, therefore, assembled these men and women of noble character and intention to drill the political conscience of the nation and purge it of electoral iniquities by which our society has been rendered comatose by our political parties.”

Banire added that as part of the organisation’s activities, it has held roundtable sessions where experts in particular fields deliberate on challenges confronting Nigerians, analyse the causes and proffer solutions to such problems.“It is imperative for us all to realise our generational responsibility of ensuring a better today and a best tomorrow for generations unborn.”

Olurode in his address titled: “Nigeria: Transactions in Freedom,” called for the reform of political parties as oligarchies and a repressive machines.He stated that the paper was to provoke discussions on mitigation strategies to contain dire consequences of transaction in freedom by means of conventional and unconventional responses.

Olurode noted that this would underscore the role of political philosophy in development, especially of diversity and indeed pluralism.To checkmate assault on freedom, Olurode advocated reinforcing and multiplying of ethical standards.“Citizens should be trusted that they will act wisely, getting involved, multiply acts of participation- manifest and latent –united action for change is the way to communicate and construct alternative routes to power.”

He also noted that higher institutions should be re-constructed to allow students union to flourish, saying this would make them actively involved in politics upon graduation. Olurode added that poverty in the country created the gap for the prevalence of insecurity manifested in crimes such as abductions and kidnappings, with grave implications on the freedom of Nigerians.

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Muiz BanireUAC
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