Absence of internal democracy hinders parties’ growth – INEC

Published February 18, 2021

Friday Olokor , Abuja
Ahead of the 2023 general elections , the Independent National Electoral Commission and stakeholders in the electoral process, on Wednesday , renewed the agitation for inclusiveness in politics to promote the participation of under -represented groups in Nigeria .
The commission identified lack on internal democracy as one of the biggest challenges it had faced , as political parties were not allowing their members to fully participate in their activities .
INEC said that no political party could grow if it failed to allow members to participate in its activities .
The stakeholders made their submissions in Abuja during a meeting on political party reforms jointly organised by the Election and Party Monitoring Department of INEC in conjunction with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy .
The Head , Department of EPM, INEC , Aminu Idris , said the commission would always play its role of ensuring that political parties complied with their constitutions , the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He gave an assurance that INEC would encourage political parties on inclusiveness to allow people , who were at a disadvantage such as women, youths and people living with disabilities , to participate in the electoral process.
Idris said , “ The commission in collaboration with Westminster Foundation for Democracy engaged Ibrahim Jibrin , a professor, as a consultant to develop indices , which political parties can use to assess themselves and which INEC can use to assess them .
“ The indices will also ensure that the political parties are playing the roles they opt to play, which include enhancing democracy to make it sustainable and seen as a tool of governance .
“ One of the biggest challenges we see is lack of internal democracy , whereby political parties do not allow members to fully participate in the activities . If you have a party and you don ’ t allow members to participate , then the political party can ’ t grow .”
The Country Representative of the WFD , Adebowale Olorunmola , called on political parties to give more access to women, youths and the affected groups, as they remained the main vehicles for participation .

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