Ibn Chambas: UN Encouraging Autocracy in Africa, IPAC Alleges

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Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

A coalition of 91 registered political parties yesterday described as treacherous the position of the United Nations on the number of political parties, saying it was encouraging autocracy in Africa.

The Special Representative of Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, had expressed concern over the number of political parties in Nigeria and the sub-region, describing it as a serious challenge which “distracts from the quality of the process.”

The UN Special Representative had expressed the feelings during a courtesy call on the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu in Abuja.

According to him, the number of political parties in certain elections in West Africa and the Sahel sub-region has posed a challenge.

But reacting to the position of the UN, the coalition of parties under the aegis of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) called on the world body to work closely with the federal government and all registered political parties “to further deepen the country’s democracy with  a view to enhancing its inclusivity.”

The National Chairman of IPAC, Peter Ameh who is also National Chairman of Progressive Peoples Alliance, made the condemnation of UN’s position in a statement in Abuja.

He said that the current number of registered political parties in Nigeria had “afforded over 200 million Nigerian citizens, the opportunity to be part of the electoral processes in Nigeria.”

“IPAC calls on the UN to concentrate more efforts on the security challenges ravaging and decimating the Nigerian Nation and the unprecedented level of unemployment across the Federation which are the real threats and which ought to be of great concern to the UN”, Ameh added.