Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Imperative of Internal Democracy in Political Parties.

We need every set of eyes available to watch them.No pair of eyes is useless in this venture.Let us watch them,to ensure our collective future.



Those are some of the reactions I know I will get to a subject of this nature. Why would I want to waste my time ,discussing internal democracy in political parties? Who would want to read it.?

We all need to. Our future happiness,and the end of our current sadness,depends on it.

Political parties, are the foundation of any democracy. 

This does not however apply in single party systems, as it obtains in China, North Korea,and some other authoritarian dispensations around the world.

They usually present the electorate, with multiple choices,in electing their representative governments.

Democracy,in my own bushman's  elementary definition, is government through free choice,or free will.
Once there is no freedom to choose a representative, whatever the outcome cannot be said to be democratic.

Because parties are the bedrock in a democratic system, one would expect them to pass the simple test of being democratic themselves.

They say in law that he who must approach equity,must come with clean hands. 

Bushman's translation,you cannot say you want to wear something clean,and your hands are soiled with palm oil!

How have our political parties fared in the quest to be internally democratic? On the basis of name alone, almost every party has passed with distinction.

We have the People's Democratic Party,Democratic People's Party,Democratic Alternative,National Democratic Party,and the list goes on and on.

If you marry a husband/wife,on the basis of a photograph alone, as our parents once did,you could be getting into a life threatening situation. What if he/she bed wets? What if he/she is a wife/husband batterer?  What if your potential spouse, is a spouse from hell?

Many of our parties sing the song,but they do not dance the dance!

A careful examination of the biggest party in the land,the People's Democratic Party, would show us why the "democratic" in the name,is not enough!

Aside from the unwritten,but widely accepted notion that godfathers rule different turfs of the party,like dons in the mafia; the party has a law in her constitution that is queer,and I must say, clearly against the laws of fair play,and equity.

Her governors, are allowed to bring their political appointees as delegates to any congress of the party in the state.

What this means is that, if the governor wants to win any congress, particularly in the state ,all he need to do is appoint an overwhelming number of people as political appointees, like Governor Isa Yuguda did in Bauchi.Yuguda appointed about nine hundred special assistants!

It does not matter if these individuals do not have real jobs in government.

 I saw a state,the other day, where they had a special adviser to the governor on IT,I am sure his job is to show the governor how to use his laptop,and when to use it.

So if governor "A" is running for reelection, and only accredited delegates can vote, he is at a great advantage with his retinue of political appointees who are sure to vote him in.

The contest is skewed in his favour.

Another antidemocratic tendency of our parties, is the the roles played by godfathers,and national executive bodies of these parties.

On one hand, you have godfathers rejecting the popular will of the people to plant his own stooge, and  as we saw copiously with the PDP, before the last elections;there were cases where candidates elected by state congresses,were replaced with the vanquished candidates in Abuja because they were well connected. 

In such cases, the victims only found out after their names had been substituted.

So when a party, like the People's Democratic Party, which has shown such manifest,and "impunitious", disregard for internal democracy,runs in an election, it does not play by the rules of democracy. They are mutually exclusive of each other.

The Yoruba people have a proverb, that ,it is the situation of the home you look at,before naming a child: therefore, if we name the People's Democratic Party,an undemocratic party, we would be fair in our assessment,and judgement.

One then begins to wonder,can a party which has a glowing track record of undermining democracy, a factor which has helped it cling to power by every means foul,  deliver democracy to Nigeria? 

Can they be trusted to play fair? 

Can we go to sleep,and leave the PDP to steer the ship of democracy?

Can we afford another four years of chaos?

Can we tolerate another four years of dashed hopes, and shattered dreams?

If we cannot,then we must all,here ,and now, determine that we would not leave the job to them alone. Neither can we put too much faith in the other political parties, a lot of them are offshoots of the PDP. Many of them were formed by  disgruntled, and disenfranchised,ex-PDP members. They already know how to cheat!

This is the time for all who love Nigeria to put their differences aside, and unite under one common banner; the banner of freedom of choice, the banner of elections in an atmosphere free of stress,or any other inducement ,or inhibition.

The banner of true, manifest,and latent,unalloyed,and unmitigated democracy. 

If you love Nigeria,


If you love Nigeria,

Join us,

as we build a truly democratic Nigeria.

I am Julius Umogbai, and I support the Kakatawaga Progressives!


No comments:

Post a Comment