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Why Nigerian Political Parties Remain Backward — PGF DG

Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman has stated that the leadership of all political parties in the country is backward.

This was contained in a statement released on Sunday by the DG of PGF, Salihu Lukman.

According to Lukman, politicians aspiring to hold office recruit members who are loyal to them, and with this influence direct the affairs of the party.

The director-general said this is made possible because they are wealthy and are able to meet the financial needs of political parties.

“The disconnect however is that although progress is made to enhance the processes of election management in the country, management of political parties remains very backward,” he said.

“The practice across all Nigerian parties is that political leaders aspiring to contest elections for political offices recruit members. The aspiring political leader influences choices of party leaders based on estimation of loyalty.

“The loyalists who emerge as political leaders in turn become delegates during party primary for the selection of candidates for election, who then confirm the aspiring political leader as the party’s candidate for election.

“Once an aspirant has strong financial capability, he/she then controls the party. Such a person would then proceed to appoint loyalists to serve as party officials.

“Issues of membership and participation in political activities, including holding party positions and appointments into governments controlled by the party, are restricted to close associates and supporters, while professional management of the party and disciplinary conduct of members are conveniently ignored.”

Lukman said funding issues of political parties must be addressed.

“A strong corollary here is the issue of party funding? How are political parties being funded? In other words, are members contributing to the party’s finances?,” he said.

“Are they aware of all the sources and size of contributions? Once party funding is defined such that minimum resources needed to run party affairs are generated, remuneration and conditions of services for party leaders at all levels should be similarly defined.

“Part of the recommendation should be to benchmark party conditions of service with existing conditions of public service.

“For instance, the national chairman of the party could have the same remuneration and conditions as the vice-president of the federal republic of Nigeria as provided in the 1999 constitution as amended and other relevant provisions of other statutory bodies.”

The director-general commended the senate for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmission of election results.

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