Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Former Vice President Atiku Blasts APC; Call Them A Bullying Party

Nigeria's former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said that the reason political parties like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have failed to bring democracy to Nigerians is due to lack of internal democracy within the party organs in themselves.

Atiku made the comments in Abuja on Tuesday at the  second annual conference of the Inter-party Advisory Council  themed, ‘Inter Party Democracy: A Recipe for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria’.

He said,
“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; it is a cultural practice.
“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, fills the void. That’s not party building but party bullying. And it’s certainly not a way to democratise parties and aggregate their members’ opinions, interests and aspirations.
“This means that efforts to deepen Nigeria’s democracy must include efforts at democratizing our political parties. The institutionalization of democracy in our internal party processes will help us deepen democracy in Nigeria. Leaders are more likely to tolerate opposition from citizens and other parties if they tolerate it within their own party.”
Atiku also decried the attitude of political office holders who held allegiance to their political godfathers rather than the party.

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