…Rues INEC’s interference
….Says no democracy can survive without virile political parties, ideology
By Chris Ochayi
Worried by speedy drifting into comatose of governance and democratic system, the Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, IPAC, said it has taken drastic measure to reposition the Council into a viable organization to help in developing an enviable political culture for the country.
The IPAC noted that a strong political culture is required to rescue the failing electoral management body, political parties and governments at all tiers and levels and by extension the nation’s democracy from drifting into total anarchy.
Tbe Acting President of IPAC, Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu, who stated this, weekend, in Abuja, while announcing some appointments into the Council, said the nation’s democracy is doomed without strong political parties.
Chief Nwosu,who is also the National Chairman of African Democratic Congress, ADC, expressed concerns over the persistent interference of the management of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which according to him causing some infractions within the Council and political parties.
According to him,/”The nation is now regarded as a failed or failing state. Failed or failing, it beholves patriotic persons in Nigeria to seize every opportunity and every moment to make positive contribution towards its good health.
”We all need to think beyond selves and be ready to come out of our comfort abodes. Running away from the toxicity of the Nigeria challenge caused by the unscrupulous tendencies of a few vested interests will only make the situation worse.”
Chief Nwosu noted that ”To properly position IPAC therefore, as a viable inter-party organization to help in developing an enviable political culture, we have taken the pain to institute large scale changes in the way the body is being run.
”Effective leadership and efficient management are critical in creating the sound and dynamic political environment need to put Nigeria on the right political trajectory for development.”
He said ‘With these as its guiding principles, the Central Management Committee CMC announced the appointment of Director Legal and Strategic Communication – Chief Barr Chukwudi EzeObika, Director, Institutional Strategy and Politics – Alhaji San Turaki, Director, Organizational Redesign, Systems Strengthening & Optimization. – Dr Emeka Okengwu, Director Business & Investment – Hon Abayomi Runsewe and Director Education and Training – Barr Eunice Atuejide.
Others include, Director Coalition, Collaboration Initiatives – Otunba Niyi Dada, Director Monitoring and Evaluation (Democracy &Government in Action) – Rev. Olusegun Peters, Director Diaspora Relations. Alistair Soyode, Director Voting, Electoral processes and Systems Studies. Chief Razak Eyiowuawi
Also appointed are the Director General – Chief Mrs Barr Georgina Dakpokpo, Adviser Inter-Agency Relations, Security and Intelligence, Alhaji Musa Takai, Adviser International Relations and Best practices. Barr. Godson Okoye. Adviser Civil Society and Public Relations – Mark Adebayo, ans Chief of Staff – Chief Barr Emeka Igwe.
Chief Nwosu recalled that, ”IPAC was conceived by political parties in Nigeria and a few international and democratic agencies helped birth it into life with funding from USAID and European union.
”Ever since it came to life, some interest groups within INEC has struggled to control and/or own it, as if INEC is a political party.
”The Inter Party Advisory Council IPAC is a council of political parties to enable Convergence of ideas and code of conduct for smooth and harmonious coexistence of parties; and to minimize extreme hostilities between parties.
”INEC as the nation’s elections management agency is supposed to midwife the electoral processes, the sine-qua-non of all democracies.
”This agency has been wobbly, overbearing, ominous agenda chasing, unfocused and pretentious.
”Otherwise, how does one explain that an agency registered 67 parties in an election year, that is more than twice the numbers of parties that existed 20 years prior.
”Still the same INEC remains in contempt of reinstating 23 political parties following Appeal court judgment.
”The same INEC’s failure in its election management functions results in congestion of the nation’s courts.
”In spite of the huge budgetary allocation to INEC yearly, the election quality and general outcome of all elections in the country remain depressing and subjected to unending adjudication in election tribunals across the country, high courts, appeal courts and the Supreme Court at high cost to the government, political parties and candidates.
”Due to election management challenges, the nation’s judiciary are overstretched with cases to the detriment of all other matters, economy, business, security and governance in the country.
”For the same agency not to respect the courts, Judges, judgments and political parties is dangerous.
”While some political party leaders have decided to opt out of IPAC because of the meddlesomeness, I strongly encourage all of us to come together to block any sinister agenda aimed against proper flow of our democracy especially now that our youths are charged to bring their sophisticated knowledge, experiences, creativity and voices into our nation building challenge.
‘It is for the current leaders of political parties to ensure that INEC politicians in its effort to protect the status quo does not create barriers to scuttle the aspirations of the youths and all other stakeholders.”