No ideological Differences among Nigerian Political Parties, APC Chieftain Laments

Segun James

The former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Mr. Henry Ajomale, has lamented the lack of ideological differences among Nigerian political parties, a situation which has made it easy for people to cross along the political divide easily.

Ajomale, who spoke during a lecture he delivered at a one-day seminar for APC executive members held in Lagos, said that the lack of differences has made it impossible to determine who are progressives or conservatives.

He said that although the formation of the APC is based on a tripod and with the party’s constitution clear and binding, it is still struggling to determine its place in the political system.

“The Manifesto of every party should always be clear and precise. Sticking to a manifesto helps a party to be stable and not confused but rather focused on goals and achievements.

“They are largely what sustained a political party and its assurances to victories of elections and all levels.

“The APC is one of the two major contemporary political parties in Nigeria. It was founded on February 6, 2013, from a merger of Nigeria’s three largest opposition parties. The party came to power following the victory of the party’s candidate Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential elections.

“This marked the first time in Nigerian history that an opposition party unseated a governing party and power was transferred peacefully. The way and manner we succeeded in doing this were majorly based on the roles of the executives of the party at all levels.”

According to him, every recognised political party is mandated to have a constitution that binds every member and caucus of the party.

“It shall be recognised as the binding laws, rules and principles that govern the affairs and activities of such party whereby submitted to the INEC and will be enforced for or against such a party. A party must also and always have a vision which generally is to win every election in which the party is a platform for any of its candidates in most cases.

“However, the internal workings and affairs of such a party must also emulate such a vision where transparency is a key factor to provide a level playing ground for all members and executives of the party.”

Mr. Fouad Oki, in his paper, lamented that indiscipline in political parties is antithetic to democratic consolidation and good governance in Nigeria, adding that this has always been the bane of most political parties in the country.

According to him, “the party must be superior to all its members, funding of the party should never be on individualistic principles, the party constitution must be strictly adhered to; the principles of democracy should be embraced by the parties and their elders; and above all, proper party education must be given to all the members of the party.”

He said that urgent and prompt steps must be taken to check the ugly trends of indiscipline in political parties in Nigeria in order to prevent the truncation of the democratic process by the military as before.

Also speaking on crises within the party structure, a former National Legal Adviser of the APC, Mr. Babatunde Ogala, said that conflicts could either be minor or serious and it is not restricted only to connected people but it also exists among those who are unconnected.

“A conflict arises when individuals have varied interests, opinions and thought processes and are just not willing to compromise with each other. Conflict often involves personal values that have been violated in some way. Conflict is however unavoidable in our social and political affairs because of our diversity.”

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