The Centre for Democracy and Development held the 11th edition of her flagship programme, Nigerian Political Parties Discussion series today, 22nd of February 2018. The event was held at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja and televised live on AIT. Mrs Kadaria Ahmed moderated the programme, which had representatives from three different political parties, including Diran Odeyemi of PDP, Aderinsola Abiola of APC, Mark Adebayo of KOWA and Mr Shehu Wahab of INEC as guest speakers. The theme of Discussion was: Internal Party Democracy, who fares better amongst Political Parties in Nigeria.
Ahmed noted that, “Internal democracy in political parties is considered a key ingredient for a fully functional and effective democracy in any society.” She highlighted several questions that should determine if a political party is democratic, including, how do they run their affairs? Who funds them? How are the administrative officers selected or elected? How inclusive are the party’s policies towards young people, women and People with disabilities? She further insisted that it was time for parties to set clear goals on how to develop the nation ahead of the 2019 elections and ensure that dividends of democracy were delivered to the people.
Mr Shehu Wahab, a Deputy Director, at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said that the commission is concerned with Political Parties following the rules that builds internal party democracy, such that, Party congresses are held and the mass of party members are involved in the party processes. He stated that, while Nigeria began to have a stable democracy in terms of the modalities of Party processes since 1999, INEC’s job to ensure credible elections can be disrupted by Political parties who do not abide by rules regarding funding and inclusiveness.
According to, Idayat Hassan, the Director of Centre for Democracy and Development West Africa, the NPPDS was organized in a bid to start relevant discussions ahead of the 2019 elections and determine what the various political parties had to offer the Nigerian populace. She noted that a forum like this was very important because, we cannot even have the delivery of public goods and services if we do not institutionalize political party system and its goals in our democracy.
“We want to start looking at all the processes of the political parties so that Nigerians can know how parties run, how inclusive they are and how democratic in the real sense they are,” the Director said.