APC Is A Bullying Party, Lacks Democracy Culture! Says Atiku
APC Is A Bullying Party, Lacks Democracy Culture! Says Atiku.
Not astonished this coming from Former Vice President and a leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar. But he has a point in him message. According to him Atiku, yesterday decried the absence of internal democracy among the country’s registered political parties.
In his tone: “In my view, there is a close relationship between democracy within political parties and democracy within the nation. Put simply you cannot give what you don’t have. You cannot build democracy on a substructure of dictatorship and intolerance. A political party that constricts the freedom of its members cannot really offer freedom to the citizens of the nation. Democracy is not just an idea; is a cultural practice.
Making a veiled reference to the way and manner the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun led APC is being administered, he called for a nexus between internal democracy and the quality of leadership required to address the multifaceted problems bedeviling the nation.
Atiku who was apparently referring to APC’s inability to convene its Board of Trustees (BOT) National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings in line with the party’s constitution spoke during the second Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) of Nigeria annual conference 2017 on Internal party democracy: A recipe to a sustainable democracy in Nigeria, in Abuja.
In attendance were APC’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, represented by the Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmoud Yakubu and other dignitaries.
He reiterated the need to reconsider the Electoral Reform Committee headed by Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais to further strengthen the independence of INEC and ensure that votes count. Also further stated that such reform will encourage parties to allow internal democracy to pave way for members to have the freedom to choose and express their opinions, thereby diminishing the role of godfathers and executive intrusion in the affairs of parties and elections in the country.
“For a number of years now we have had political parties, even governing ones, which hardly hold meetings of their important organs, including those meant for the democratic selection of their leadership, or even constitute institutions prescribed in their Constitution.
“In the absence of those meetings and elections, their existing leadership, often under the direction of the executive at the state or federal level, fill the void. That’s not party building but party bullying. And it’s certainly not a way to democratize parties and aggregate their members’ opinions, interests and aspirations.”
Okechukwu said he expected Atiku to approach the top echelon of the party like the President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara to resolve the issue of internal democracy in the APC.
“Even if he is leaving the party, should he destroy the party? I have great respect for him.” He added. And from Bayelsa State, the crisis rocking the APC got messier as two opposing gladiators submitted two lists of delegates to the national body of the party.
The two lists emerged from factions loyal to the former governor, Timipre Sylva and the embattled Chairman of the party, Tiwei Orunimigha.Both factions are reported to have forwarded their list of delegates to the National Executive Committee of the party for review and acceptance.Sylva’s list captured three delegates each from the eight Local Government and other statutory delegates with the exclusion of Chief Tiwei Orunimigha faction.