LACK OF INTERNAL DEMOCRACY IN PARTIES BANE OF NIGERIA DEVELOPMENT - SAN
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mallam Yusuf Ali has traced the retarded growth of Nigeria to lack of internal democracy within the political parties in the country.
Ali made the observation yesterday as a guest lecturer at the 5th University Of Lagos Muslim Alumni (UMA) re-union lunchion held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria island, Lagos.
Speaking on Good Governance: Bastion of Democracy, the lawyer asserted that 'good governance is, perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development which are concerns of every individuals in any given society.'
Ali, who, however, regretted that good governance that was the bastion of democracy had been eluding Nigeria because the needed internal democracy within the various political parties was absent thereby giving room for imposition of unqualified leaders to govern the country.
Going down the memory lane, the learned SAN said 'in the first republic, every card carrying member of any political party had some amount to contribute for the running of the party,' explaining that 'that make every member a financial member of his or her party.'
According to him, the system would allow for participatory democracy where every member would have a say in the day to day running of the party and thereby make it difficult for a handful of individuals to hand pick and impose candidates on the people.
He lamented that the imposition of unqualified and unpopular candidates on the populace was made possible because few people who had the wherewithal to form and finance a party would see the party as their business venture 'where he who pays the piper will dictate the tune.'
While proffering solution to the political malaise, the concerned lawyer asserted that for real democracy to get deep root and guarantee good governance in Nigeria, all the democratic apparatus must be up and doing or else, there would be disaster.
Some of the democratic agents, according to him included 'independent, fearless and unbiased judiciary, professional and incorruptible security agents, honest, committed and transparent leadership, efficient and God fearing electoral umpire as well as selfless and determined followership.'
The lecturer, who hoped that 'we can get things right through the next election,' however warned that a people that failed to learn from their past should forget anything about the future.
In his welcome address earlier, the UMA President Alhaji Sikiru Alimi said, choosing the topic was borne out of the discouraging democratic rating of the country, insisting that 'the giant of Africa has got to wake from being a perpetual land of promise to one of achievement.'
The Chairman on the occasion, Dr. Wale Babalakin expressed displeasure that for the past 25 years, Nigeria has been in the reverse, saying time has come when Nigerians should start creating wealth and stop from being beneficiaries of largesse sharing.