CSOs Appeal To Parties To Live Up Their Constitutional Responsibilities
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has called on political parties to live up to their constitutional responsibilities towards ensuring good governance.
The Convener, Dr Clement Nwankwo, made the call while addressing journalists in Abuja, on the report of the recent concluded political party primaries in the country.
According to Dr Nwankwo, the parties’ primaries were marred with so many irregularities which he said was unhealthy for the nation’s democracy.
“The Situation Room is deeply concerned about the brazen disregard of democratic principles by most of the political parties. Media reports and observation by CSOs across the country showed that the political party primaries process was characterized by vote buying, intimidation, imposition of candidates and violence”
“The outrageous numbers bandied by one of the major political parties as figures for electing its Presidential Candidate was very worrisome, the exceedingly inflated number of votes announced for the affirmation of their presidential candidate has no basis in facts” he said.
“Our summation is that most of the party primaries were merely a sham.
“Across the political parties, women have been complaining about how the process undermined their prospects of competing on a level playing grounds”
Nwankwo explained that there were also allegation of intimidation and hostility against some female candidates.
The convener observed that some political parties due to their nefarious activities have continued to pose significant challenges to the consolidation of democracy in the country.
He expressed concern that the development could create tension in the country and diminish peoples faith in the democratic process ahead of the coming 2019 election.
While advising Nigerians to judge the political parties by their commitment to law and order, he also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain resolute in applying the rules of election.
” INEC must stay resolute in applying the rules. Its decisions to reject lists from political parties who failed to make timely submission must be strictly applied across board. This primary season provides a good opportunity for INEC to reinforce its credibility and dedication to applying rules”
He pledged the readiness of CSOs Situation Room to continue to follow the electoral processes closely and report any group with capable actions of undermining the election process.
By: Julian Osamoto/Abuja