Nigeria: The need for ideological-oriented Parties,By Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)



RAF PICIdeology has been described as a system of doctrines that seeks to explain and change a nation. It seeks to interpret the working and structure of society and posit the need for a change in the existing situation through a programme of practical politics predicated on a comprehensive theory of human nature and requiring long social struggle for attainment of its goals.
In the words of Andrew Jackson, President of the United States between 1829 and 1837, “a political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence or entirely control government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office.” He described political ideology is a set of conscious and unconscious ideas that constitute the goals of a political party, expectations and actions.
Similarly, in 2009, at Aminu Kano 26th Memorial Lecture, Sen. Uche Chukwumerije offers some insight into the concept of “ideology”, when he coined the term in four dimensions: Contents—the systematic body of basic philosophical principles espousing the character of an existing social system, its flaws, and the merits of a new social order; Programme of Action—a set of proposals designed to effect the postulated changes in the existing system; Functions—the value of the ideology as a perceptional screen which sifts the proposed remedial options; Effective Leadership—quality of leaders and managers who possess integrity to live what they preach and leaders who command enough mobilisation skills to lead the country.
In recent times, Nigeria political landscape has been heated with series of unconstructive positions, destructive arguments and negative utterances that can impair our national democracy. It is regrettable that the dreadful consequences of absence of parties with clear, strong ideological orientation has continued to haunt the peace and future of our country. It is time to rethink and discourage unproductive words in our society; and stop giving baseless prominent attention to political gamblers.
It is saddening that while other nations climb upwards to enter the ozone layer of the most economically advanced nations, Nigeria is soaked in a world record of corruption, population explosion and under-development.
More importantly, it was a famous political analyst and keen observer of political intrigue and practice in Nigeria, Prof. Leonard Karshima Shilgba, who lamented in a recent article that it is not a difficult conclusion that politicians generally form political parties for the dominant purpose of contesting and winning elections rather than as vehicles for coordinating development efforts on the basis of some deep political and economic conviction-ideology.
Rafsanjani is the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Abuja.

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