By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has called for restructuring of political parties in Nigeria, to change their focus to serving the people and entrenching democracy.
Mustapha said at the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation 2022 Peace Conference entitled “Nation Building: The Role of Peaceful Elections in a Multi-Ethnic Context’’ in Abuja.
“One of the institutions that will need remedy as quickly as possible, as an institution that produces the platform for electron processes is the political party.
“I have seen how the political parties have been totally disregarded in terms of institutional strengthening, in terms of making the platforms not only for the purposes of canvassing votes but also for the purposes of initiating policies.
“To also be guiding the political party that is in power to ensure that the promises they made to the electorate are fulfilled.
“Not the agenda of the occupant of the office, but the philosophy and the direction of growth that the party has set for itself is accomplished,’’ he said.
He said that in the past, the chairmen of political parties were in full control and they were perfuming.
Mustapha said that the situation has changed as the parties turned to vehicle for electoral victory and not as foundation to meet the need of the people.
“We need to address the formation of our parties, the institutionalisation of our parties, the strengthening of democratic ethics party, because these are the platforms that produce the people that will occupy the offices.
“If they are faulty in their nature, obviously, the conduct of the people that will occupy those offices will equally be faulty and the desire of the people of Nigeria to see good governance will continue to elude us as people,” he said.
Mustapha commended Jonathan for constantly reminding Nigerians on the need to re-engineer electoral process.
He said this was not only for the purpose of transparency, equity, fairness and credibility in elections, but what the elections produced.
The Chairman of the National Peace Accord, retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, urged political actors and their supporters to avoid using sentiments that could jeopardise democracy, when election campaigns start.
Abubakar advised Nigerians to embrace issue-based campaigns that centered on good governance and quality representation.
He said that 2023 general election represented an opportunity for Nigeria to consolidate its democratic successes.
“While we celebrate the ability of this great nation of ours in its peaceful democratic transitions and all the actors who play by the rules it is equally important that we should not rest on the gains of old,’’ he said.(NAN)