Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
By Ibrahim Shuaibu
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Ghali Umar Na’Abba on Monday identified godfatherism as the bane of Nigeria’s political parties.
And he laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, accusing him of encouraging dictatorship and godfatherism not only in PDP, but in all the political parties in Nigeria.
“In all honesty, since the inception of the Fourth Republic, in all the political parties, there is absolutely no internal democracy.”
Speaking further Na’Abba said “Our best brains are becoming causalities; and they are the ones that understand the workings of democracy. People now engage themselves in sycophancy so that they can remain relevant in the scheme of things.”
He added: “Sycophancy has stripped Nigerian politics of morality.”
Na’Abba pointed out that all political parties in Nigeria are guilty of these anomalies, saying that lack of internal democracy in the parties is gradually killing the system.
Addressing reporters in Kano on Monday at the NUJ Press Centre, Ghali Na’Abba noted that a great number of those in political positions in the country got there through the back door.
He explained that “While I was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, I did so much to entrench internal democracy - to see to it that the phenomenon does not continue and I did a lot, including even trying to impeach Chief Obasanjo.”
“You see, anytime this problem of lack of internal democracy is being discussed, Obasanjo’s name must be mentioned. He pocketed the PDP and planted his stooges as leaders and political office holders. He also planted his stooges in other political parties and caused confusion in the system.”
He continued: “During Obasanjo’s tenure, every region in the country, including his own zone, the South-West, complained of marginalization. I was aware that Obasanjo’s project was to destabilize the North; and at least three northern political leaders were helping him to achieve this agenda.”
Ghali Na’Abba further noted that: “The situation in the country is so bad that people don’t ask who is elected, but who is given the party’s ticket!”
The former Speaker, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), noted that “Our political parties today operate without manifestoes because politics have been privatised. Nobody talks of party manifestoes. The failure in the system is symbiotic. It is both the failure of the President, governors and the party leadership.”