The Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, says major political parties in the country cannot escape being embroiled in crisis.
He stated that most of the parties are dominated by wealthy politicians who aspire to contest elections for political offices and want to have their ways.
In a statement on Sunday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain noted that these moneybags also finance the parties and direct their affairs, which leads to crisis and factionalization.
The PGF boss added that the politicians then proceed to appoint loyalists and put them in strategic positions in the parties.
He said the loyalists who emerge as party officials, in turn, become delegates during party primary for the selection of candidates for election, who then confirm the aspiring political leader as the party’s candidate for election.
The statement reads: “The disconnect however is that although progress is made to enhance the processes of election management in the country, management of political parties remains very backward.
“The practice across all Nigerian parties is that political leaders aspiring to contest elections for political offices recruit members. The aspiring political leader influences choices of party leaders based on estimation of loyalty.
“The loyalists who emerge as political leaders, in turn, become delegates during party primary for the selection of candidates for election, who then confirm the aspiring political leader as the party’s candidate for election.
“Once an aspirant has strong financial capability, he/she then controls the party. Such a person would then proceed to appoint loyalists to serve as party officials.
“Issues of membership and participation in political activities, including holding party positions and appointments into governments controlled by the party, are restricted to close associates and supporters, while professional management of the party and disciplinary conduct of members are conveniently ignored.”
Lukman, however, said in order to stop the internal crisis in political parties, the issue of funding must be addressed so that some people would not feel that the party belongs to them.
The PGF DG added that party conditions of service should be benchmarked with existing conditions of public service.
He added: “A strong corollary here is the issue of party funding? How are political parties being funded? In other words, are members contributing to the party’s finances?
“Are they aware of all the sources and size of contributions? Once party funding is defined such that minimum resources needed to run party affairs are generated, remuneration and conditions of services for party leaders at all levels should be similarly defined.
“Part of the recommendation should be to benchmark party conditions of service with existing conditions of public service.
“For instance, the national chairman of the party could have the same remuneration and conditions as the vice-president of the federal republic of Nigeria as provided in the 1999 constitution as amended and other relevant provisions of other statutory bodies.”