Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) has advocated for the need for political parties to have clear-cut ideologies that would help them deliver the dividends of democracy.
Speaking to journalists during the opening ceremony of the roundtable tagged: ‘Political Parties, Party Ideologies and National Interest’, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the NIPSS, Professor Habu Galadima, said without strong foundation and clear-cut ideologies, it will be difficult for a stable political system to evolve in the country.
According to him, “NIPPS has been interested in strengthening political parties so that they can deliver effectively on democracy. Without parties with strong foundation, it’ll be difficult for the political system to operate effectively.
“We felt that political parties should have clear-cut ideologies, and that their ideologies should reflect the aspirations of the political parties. This should also have alternative policies, which, when elected, they’ll be able to implement.
“It is not possible for all the political parties to be the same; it is important that political party leaders can be identified with particular ideologies, particular positions on National issues among other peculiarities.”
Galadima lamented the inability of some political parties to draw the line between criticism and issues of national interest.
He said the quality of discussion in the political terrain at the moment is not very healthy, adding that: “People should know what national interest is, when a country is facing security challenges, and what do in that case. Today, we find political parties making comments that are demoralising.
“In every country, political parties rally round when it comes to issues of national interest, however, that doesn’t stop them from providing alternative views about national issues.
“It is important that we recognise the aforementioned, and ensure that political parties focus more on their ideologies to help their colleagues to also align with their ideologies rather than humping from one political party to another.”
Also speaking at the event, the Project Coordinator of the European Union Centre for Electoral Support, Hamza Fassi-Fihri, identified the importance and roles of political parties in the society.
He said: “Political parties play a key role in democracy because they are the ones who are the intermediate between the populace and the government. For the population to make their choice, they have to be informed as well as choose on grounds that are known to everybody. These grounds are ideologies; it is important for political parties to distinguish themselves on the basis of ideas of visionary society. This is what ideology is all about.”