Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, has cautioned the All Progressives Congress, APC, and other political parties in the country not toy with the issue of internal democracy and freedom of choice of their members.
Speaking at the 2017 annual conference of the Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) on the theme: ‘Internal Party Democracy’, Atiku also cautioned political parties against the selection of candidates for election, adding that when they make wrong choice and that it is the entire nation that suffers it.
The former Vice President said he was particularly worried over the intrusion of the Executive at the state or federal level in the affairs of the party which has led to failure to organise statutory meetings for the organs of the party.
Apparently referring to his party, the APC, Atiku said, lack of regular meetings and elections has tended to portray it and other parties as a bullying and undemocratic party.
“For a number of years now, we have had political parties, even governing ones, which hardly hold meetings of their important organs, including those meant for the democratic selection of their leadership, or even constitute institutions prescribed in their constitution.
“In the absence of those meetings and elections, their existing leadership, often under the direction of the Executive at the state or federal level, fill the void. That’s not party building but party bullying. And it’s certainly not a way to democratise parties and aggregate their members’ opinions, interests and aspirations,” he said.
While harping on the dangers of lack of internal party democracy, Atiku said a political party that constricts the freedom of its members cannot really offer freedom to the citizens of the nation.