Director General of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Salihu Moh. Lukman, has canvassed that for Nigeria to enjoy progressive governance, political parties must allow for the contribution and participation of their members in critical decision making such as selection and election of party leaders and flagbearers.
Lukman decried the prevalent situation across party lines in Nigeria whereby selection and election of party representatives are hijacked by those he described as the power brokers, thereby silencing the members who are the real souls of the party.
The PGF boss stressed that accommodating the input of party members in decision making process will in turn translate into citizens’ participation in politics and governance.
In a statement titled ‘The Future of Progressive Politics in Nigeria’ released on Sunday and made available to Nigerian Pilot, Lukman noted that the problem with Nigerian democracy and as well the cause of virtually all intra and inter party disputes and conflicts in the country lies with the critical issue of citizens’ participation in politics and how it leads to the difficult task of candidates’ selection.
He added that the failure to resolve these issues and put in place functional systems that could guarantee periodic membership recruitment, which can be calibrated to citizens’ participation in decision making process leading to candidate selection during elections are major drawbacks to democratic progress in the country.
“As it is today, APC is the only party with the potential of promoting progressive politics based on ensuring that the party is able to put in place credible and verifiable membership register as basis for membership and citizens’ participation.
“The management of the membership must be such that it makes it easy for records to be updated and accessed. For the party to guarantee participation, processes of leadership emergence should be transparently democratic involving wider scope of members.
“Beyond electing leaders, the internal rules of the party should be strengthened to ensure that all party organs are made functional and the conduct of party leaders, including elected and appointed officials, are regulated to ensure that they project truly progressive conducts and credentials.
“In the final analysis, being progressives should mean that APC leaders are taking all the measures required to ensure seamless political contests within the party as a result of which political conflicts are giving way to healthy political contests.
” This would suggest reversal in the process of decline of the party. Should this become the new reality, the APC then could begin to transform itself into a mass-oriented party with expanded membership, developing relationship with organised interest groups,” the statement reads in parts.
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