Godfathers, reactionary forces creating problems in political parties, says IPAC

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By Okechukwu Jombo

National chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and national chairman of Allied People’s Movement (APM), Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, on Tuesday, March 19, said that factionalization and the imposition of candidates within political parties were orchestrated by what he termed as notorious godfathers and reactionary forces from other political factions, aimed at securing dominance in the electoral process.

The IPAC chairman who spoke at the quarterly meeting between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and leaders of political parties said the act of creating problems in other political parties must be resisted by all lovers of democracy in Nigeria.

He said: “It is time to sanitize the electoral system, ensure the integrity of elections that will reinforce citizens’ confidence in the nation’s emerging democracy.”

Dantalle, who spoke on the need to improve the nation’s electoral process that will drastically reduce post-election petitions and litigations, said the council will engage leaders of Political Parties on strict adherence to internal party democracy in the nomination of candidates for various elective offices which will in turn reduce pre- elections litigations.

He lamented that funds that should have been deployed to deepen party politics and structures in the country are spent on avoidable litigations that distracted, disorganized, disrupted and destabilized activities of most political parties and eventually change of leadership.

While expressing concern about the state of mind of the nation, he called for patriotism to redirect the ship of the Nigerian state to the path of growth and development, saying, “There is hunger in the land. This is a trying period for our beloved nation.

“As leaders of political parties so much is expected of us in brainstorming, articulating, formulating and proposing alternative policies and programmes that will accelerate economic growth, political stability, religious harmony and security of citizens in the fatherland.”

Dantelle stressed that the task of rebuilding the nation is the responsibility of the populace irrespective of political affiliations, saying, “We should reaffirm our faith in the fatherland and rededicate ourselves to the service of the nation.

“If political party leaders had been proactive in responding to national issues and engaging governments at all levels on ill-conceived and anti-people policies and actions, proffered alternative course of actions, perhaps the country would not have been in this sorry state. Unfortunately, we allowed partisan politics to becloud our sense of patriotism.”

He said further the performance of opposition political parties in the elections was a welcome 2023 development and an expression of Nigerians’ faith and confidence in democracy.

He said: “The lessons from the general election, off-season governorship elections, and rerun polls will give the Commission and Political Parties yet another opportunity to review and reexamine the Constitution, Electoral Act, the guidelines and regulations for the conduct of elections, and make necessary amendments that will strengthen the electoral process and integrity of elections conducted.

“Election is the beauty of democracy. The ballot is sacred and sacrosanct. It is our duty as political leaders to ensure the elections meet international best practices and also hold critical stakeholders accountable. Vote selling and buying, thuggery, voters’ apathy, and intimidation of electoral officials particularly to declare results under duress are still issues militating against the conduct of credible polls in Nigeria.

“IPAC will set up a Constitution and Electoral Act Amendments Committee to review glaring irregularities in recent elections and make proposals to the National Assembly in its ongoing Constitution and Electoral Act amendments.”

He challenged the leadership of the commission to ensure that the Edo and Ondo States gubernatorial elections meet the expectations of Nigerians and the international community, saying “There should be no excuse for poor performance.”