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NIPSS Inaugurates Curriculum For Political Parties June

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ABUJA, March 28, (THEWILL) – The curriculum of the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), the Democratic Governance for Development Project (DGD II) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is to be formally inaugurated in Abuja in June.

NIPSS Director of Research, Prof. Olu Obafemi, disclosed this, Thursday, in Abuja at the validation meeting of the draft curriculum of the centre .

The meeting was attended by leaders of political parties,officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other critical stakeholders.

“The essence is to institutionalise the training of political parties at the leadership and bureaucratic level and to develop policy that will help us develop a democratic culture for the country.

"Our democracy continues to look fledging all the time, we rise and fall and rise and fall mainly because we have not got our political system right.

"There are no viral cultures of opposition in which parties can feel able even when in opposition to offer critical opinion that will help government grow.

"Most of the time, ruling parties feel it right to continue to rule and ignore views of opposition. We believe that the leadership of political parties in this country need to know those essential ingredients and elements of a nurtured democracy so that in their practice of partisan politics, they can develop those ingredients of democratic system and good governance that will encourage political participation, politics for development, growth of a tolerant political culture in their various political activities,” Obafemi said at the meeting.

The disclosure came as a member of the organising committee, Dr. Sola Adeyanju, of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, said the initiative is part of measures to deepen democracy in the country.

Adeyanju said the project is being cited in NIPSS, Kuru near Jos, being the apex think tank for strategy and policy making in the country.

Also speaking at the occasion, Sadeeque Abba, who represented the project director, Dr. Mourtada Deme, said the initiative was developed in December 2012 after the commissioning of the political parties capacity assessment to identify areas where the DGD intervention can be effective in strengthening party democracy.

“One of these strategies that was identified is the establishment of the centre which will be entrusted with a task of providing a sustained capacity development platform for patties in Nigeria to address some of the identified shortcoming on the parties," he said .

This came as the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, said the courses to be run by NIMPS are based on the curriculum that can help produce party managers who will bring professionalism into politics and help to institutionalise party politics among others.

“Most parties are more or less elections party time phenomena, after elections, many parties tend to fade away partly because of funds and because there are no people trained to run parties in between elections. The training in Jos will fill that gap. It will create commonality of view and values among politicians,” Falae said.

“I hope politicians will avail themselves the opportunity of the programme. Part of the problem is that many of us have developed the mentality that politics is for rallies and have intellectual disdain for this kind of training that is being envisaged but we hope that gradually, people will come to accept that there is no way we can carry on without having a cadre of people who are trained in party management and that will also minimize the frictions.”