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‘Government should avoid nationalization of political parties in electoral act Amendments Bill’

‘Government should avoid nationalization of political parties in electoral act Amendments Bill’

The traditional ruler of Igbogbo Kingdom, Semiudeen Orimadegun Kasali, has urged the government to avoid the nationalization of Political parties in the Electoral Act Amendments Bill that is currently awaiting the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The monarch stated this at the 2021 International Security Conference organized by the Institute of Security, Nigeria. The 2-day conference with the theme, “Enhancing Integrity and Security Solutions to Election Threats and Political Violence in Democratic Environment”, was held at the University of Lagos.

The Royal Father noted that the Conference is a good precursor to the 2023 elections and it is expected that the outcome of the conference will go a long way in curbing electoral corruption, violence, and other unwholesome practices that are renowned with the electioneering process in Nigeria.

“Factors responsible for fraudulent and violent elections include bad officials directly or indirectly engaged by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC); the partisan position of security agencies during electioneering period; monetization of electoral processes; bad reportage by the media before and after elections and the non-provision of a fair playing ground for those seeking electoral offices,” said Kasali.

While speaking on the legal implications of the electoral act Amendments Bill, the traditional ruler expounded that direct primaries should not be mandated for elective
positions across all political parties in the country.

Read also: Is there deliberate ploy by NASS to sidestep Electoral Amendment Bill passage?

“It is a systematic way of empowering a few members of the political party to become power brokers before whom the aspirants take a bow. It is an enormous privilege to reward a few loyal party members and this system is prone to abuse by the moneybags,” he said.

He posits that political parties are not government agencies but private associations with their own rules and governance systems that are clearly known to members. Hence, the adoption, rejection, and amendment of rules are sine-qua-non for political parties. “Lawmakers should not infantilize political party members in the guise of promoting internal democracy,” he said.

Adebayo Akinade, the director-general of the Institute of Security, Nigeria, said the institute is in partnership with the Human Resources Development Board (HRBD) and UNILAG Consult, for Professional Diploma and Specialist Certification programmes.

“The Institute will continue to open up various channels for the expansion of the field of knowledge and the resource pool of the security and protection
professionals in the public and private sector in the country,” Akinade said.

He also disclosed that the Senate of the University of Lagos has approved the Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Science and Criminal Intelligence in collaboration with the Distance Learning Institute. While a Master’s Degree is being run in the department of Psychology of the institution.