The leadership of Nigerian Community Movement Party (NCMP), has rejected suggestion by the country’s upper legislative chamber to reduce the number of political parties from 91 to 5, saying the senate should rather help the nation save scare financial resources by cutting its seats from 109 to “a more reasonable size”.
The NCMP stated this in a press statement signed by its National Chairman, Comrade Babatunde Ademola, and made available Newsdiaryonline.
It quoted Comrade Ademola, as saying that members of “the 9th Assembly should take notice that, none of sitting in chamber became a senator of the Federal Republic without political parties, it becomes ridiculous therefore, to cripple the same vehicles that brought you to power because of obvious pursuit of personal agenda.”
He also pointed out that “we doubt if some members of the current Senate would have been sitting and sleeping in the Red Chamber as it is often noticed if Nigeria had operated a two or five party system as blindly advocated.
“The 9th Assembly should spell out their fears, as the hitherto voiceless and constraint Nigerians are now having platforms to make their statement known. Why being afraid of a possible change in the narrative as year 2023 approaches?
“Since Nigerians now have the opportunity to settle down for credible political parties, that will promote and truly protect the interest of the masses after the poor performance of the two regular actors, there is need for the upper legislative chamber to guide the institutions of political parties jealously.”
The Chairman further stated that “a reduction in the number of political parties to five is never a solution rather a shameful ambition and should not be nursed by an Arm of Government, which by its nature cannot function optimally without political parties.
“The Senator Ahmed Lawan led Senate should profess exemplary qualities since it is being headed by a season politician with more than a decade wealth of experience in legislative activism rather than moves that are not prioritized among numerous obstacles bedeviling our dear Nation at this current time.”
According to him “some of them should also know that evidence abounds of their role as products of political parties that destroyed the credibility of our electoral process and the image of INEC in the 2019 general elections.
“Some of them sited in that chamber today were alleged to have forcefully made INEC employees announced them as winners. There is the need for the National Assembly to stop being petty, but professional in their approach to strengthen our democracy. They should not use their selfish ambitions and interest to destroy what was built for the collective well-being of all Nigerians. It is unconstitutional, absolutely undemocratic and an attempt to steal away our voices.”
The NCMP then called on Nigerians to resist the move “inglorious move of the Senate to silence the emergence of the children of ordinary people in our political landscape…, the NCMP is using this medium to call on all National Chairmen of political parties to mobilize en mass all members of their parties and fellow Nigerians and lovers of democracy to stand up against this purported daylight rape of our freedom of association and make sure that the voice of the children of the poor masses is not silenced.”
Comrade Ademola, according to the release also asked the Senators: “Why not sponsor Bills to know the exact state of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and recovered loots since the APC lead Federal Government came on board”.
It added that the upper legislative chamber should busy itself with how to cut suffocating financial cost of running the National Assembly which the party said is becoming more unacceptable considering Nigeria’s need to make huge investment in the area of infrastructure, healthcare, strengthening of government institutions among other pressing needs of the country.
The party stated that the Senators will do well to think out of the box with a view to reducing their numbers as well as large number of aides, fleets of highly expensive automobiles and their culture of ostentatious materialism which is being fueled by Nigerians commonwealth.
Newsdiaryonline recalls that the upper chamber had on October 9, at a meeting with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by its chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, hinted that it would reduce the number of political parties in the country from the current 91 to five through legislation.
Earlier, former governor and currently a federal lawmaker, Senator Rochas Okorocha, (APC-Imo West) called for a reduction in the number of legislators saying one senator and three House of Representative members from each of the country’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT ) Abuja, would help cut cost and ensure effective representation.
In the same vein, Okorocha, said he would sponsor a bill that would seek for the reduction, pointing out that “a senator and three House members can do what many have been doing”.