You are here
Home > HEADLINES > Is the glut of political parties healthy for Nigeria’s political system?

Is the glut of political parties healthy for Nigeria’s political system?

Is the glut of political parties healthy for Nigeria’s political system?

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Ideally, the more parties we have, the better for political participation. That will enable more people to participate actively in politics; considering the fact that their interest will be better represented. But the problem we have in Nigeria is that many of these parties do not have what it takes to operate as a political party.

Many of them are supposed to have offices across a number of states nationwide. Many of them are supposed to perform some basic functions of a political party, including interest aggregation, articulation and even political education. But many of them are not able to do it.

Many of the parties that are just coming into existence, maybe a few weeks to the general elections, will align quickly with the major political parties. So, it is on the basis of that that they will not help the political development and democratic consolidation of Nigeria. That way, they are not good for the interest of the country. A good party is defined by its ideology; you know a party for what it stands for.

For instance, in the UK, you know the core objectives and beliefs of the Conservative Party or the Labour Party. In the US, it is the same for the Republican Party and Democratic Party.

But in Nigeria, we do not have such. So, these parties (in Nigeria) do not have clear-cut ideological orientation and the people themselves do not even know what the parties stand for. And because of that lack of ideology, a few months or weeks to the elections, they just begin to align with other political parties. Political parties are not imposed; people of similar interests or beliefs come together and form a political party to seek the realisation and actualisation of those beliefs. So, when they do that, an ideology emerges because the people that formed the party are driven by similar interests. Going forward, there is a need for parties to be ideologically driven in Nigeria so that when a party has a set of objectives that it pursues, come rain, come shine, the members are not perturbed and do not begin to run from one party to the other. Dr Iro Aghedo (Department of Political Science, University of Benin)

The glut of political parties is definitely not healthy for our political system. It is a manifestation of the level of underdevelopment of our political system.

The large number clearly shows the absence of ideology in our political parties.

 It means that the very liberal process of registration of parties in the constitution is being abused with this needless proliferation.

The way it is, I foresee even more parties being pushed forward for registration, and when that happens, there would be the challenge of management of the large number by the election management body, Independent National Electoral Commission.

Democracy cannot be deepened with this proliferation; rather, it is a development that will create more confusion, especially during elections. It demonstrates a proclivity for self aggrandisement by our political gladiators who are always craving for titles and positions.

Efforts should be made to arrest these unsavoury occurrences in the development and growth of political parties in Nigeria.

Registration of parties should be made more stringent to ensure that only serious and genuine ones are able to scale the hurdle of registration. •Lekan Oketokun (A peace and conflict resolution expert)

We are creating a problem in an attempt to solve one. Yes the constitution guarantees the freedom of association which has led to the proliferation of political parties.

I don’t think the unrestricted registration of political parties is the solution to our political problems. I feel we currently have a sufficient number of political parties which any serious minded person can choose from.

Political party platforms should not become business ventures, but most of the promoters of some of these smaller parties see the setting up of political parties as a business venture this should not be the case. I think there should be a mechanism for checking the proliferation of such parties. •Sanator Danladi Sankara (A former federal lawmaker)

We are not ripe for too many political parties in Nigeria. As far as I am concerned, we don’t need more than two political parties in the country. That will give people to choose from. If you do not belong to party “A” you will belong to “B” and this will give room for political ideologies.

This will also make it difficult for this gale of defections that we are witnessing in the country now. You will see now that politicians now move from one party to another and some can even change political parties twice within a year. It has become that bad.

In the United States, you can’t see a Democrat changing to become a Republican easily, but here people are defecting every day. But I believe that with two political parties, it will be difficult for politicians to move anyhow. Politicians, who are constantly on the move in this country, are not doing that in the interest of the people. They move in search of what to eat and not to render service to the people.

For example, now in Osun State, 48 political parties will contest the governorship election. With the high level of illiteracy among our electorate, how do you think an average voter would differentiate the logo of one party from others? Their names are very similar and logos are almost the same.

The implication is that, these too many political parties that will contest the election will not produce the best for the system. We should expect a high number of void votes.

This will be worse in the 2019 general election because we already have 91 political parties and what do you think will happen if the INEC will have to design ballot papers that will accommodate 91 names and logos? It will create a big confusion for voters, so this is not good for our political system. •Mr Ade Adetimehin (Chairman, All Progressives Congress, Ondo State)

Politicians should note that registering many political parties is totally unhealthy. They should review why they are registering political parties. The essence will be to look for a party that shares your ideology, and then you work with other members. For example in LP, we understand that we may not be everywhere and we are moving with like minds who share our similar ideology. The purpose of the LP is that it is the workers party and we have  over 16m people so that is the basis for registration and we are pushing equal opportunities for all.  Everything we talk about is about the masses and the family.

Politicians should look for political parties that share their ideology, and work with them and not just registering their own political parties. That is the reason why we are not developing as fast as we should.  Everybody wants to be ruling, everybody wants to be in charge.  There is no succession in leadership.  You see a government comes in place and it wants to eradicate whatever the previous government did.

There has to be succession if we must develop. We have to understand that if somebody becomes a president on a particular platform, it does not mean every other thing the previous government did will become null and void. It is about the governance structure itself and to continue those policies that will benefit the masses. Policies summersaults are not helping the country and our democracy at all. Politicians instead of registering these parties should rather align with other parties that share the ideologies they want to promote.

The reason why people are registering political parties is that they see it as an opportunity to showcase themselves. They see it as being better since they cannot get the ticket of the bigger parties. So naturally they say ‘Ok this is where I have my ticket, let me test my popularity.’ But I do not think that is the right way to God. •Dr  Mike Omotosho (Factional National Chairman of Labour Party)

  • Compiled by: Success Nwogu, Femi Makinde, Simon Utebor, Samuel Awoyinfa and Alexander Okere

Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: [email protected]        

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Facebook Comments

Please follow and like us:

  • 0
  • Share

Leave a Reply