The President of the Senate, Godswill Obot Akpabio, has said that lack of accountability, inclusivity, transparency, and impunity, were some significant challenges that must be confronted in the country’s political parties.
Akpabio said this in Abuja on Tuesday at the launch of the book “Needs Assessment of Political Parties in Nigeria”, written by the Kukah Centre.
He said the book served as a valuable resource and roadmap for addressing these challenges.
Represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on diaspora and NGOs, Senator Victor Umeh, the Senate President said the book also provided a comprehensive analysis for the strength and weaknesses of political parties and offers valuable recommendations for reform.
He said, “Infact, we are already looking into some of these issues”.
The lawmaker commended the Kukah Centre for their dedication in promoting democratic governance in Nigeria and the European Union for their unwavering support to their endeavour.
“These parties have not only provided platforms for citizens to participate in the democratic process but have also played a vital role in shaping our nation’s policies and governance structures.
“However, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the issues that have marred our democratic culture. Lack of accountability, inclusivity, transparency, and impunity are some significant challenges that we must confront.
He said Accountability is the bedrock of any democratic society. It is crucial that political parties are accountable to the people they serve. Party leaders must be held responsible for their actions and decisions, and mechanisms for transparency and oversight should be put in place.
“This institution and this work is the lengthened shadow of a man who has emerged as a light that our country can turn to in times of eclipes. The Reverend Father Matthew Hassan Kukah represents the best in us.
” He was a member of the Nigerian Investigation Commission of Human Rights Violations. He was the secretary of the National Political Reform Conference (2005).
“Accountability is the bedrock of any democratic society. It is crucial that political parties are accountable to the people they serve. Party leaders must be held responsible for their actions and decisions, and mechanisms for transparency and oversight should be put in place.
“Inclusivity is another vital aspect of our democracy. Political parties should actively strive towards ensuring that every citizen has a voice and an opportunity to participate in the political process. By doing so, we can embrace the diversity of our nation and foster a sense of belonging among all Nigerians,” he said.
In his remarks, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said the report has drawn from not just academic analysis but a range of interviews across a wide spectrum of our society, listening to the views of ordinary citizens.
He further said the report has recommended a constant review of the Electoral Act, the need to incorporate the Opposition as part of the political process, the need to create more innovative ways of financing political parties, re-examining the place of Party Financing and so on.
He further observed that in the absence of a coherent narration of its history, Nigeria and Nigerians have often tried to find a series of alibis to plaster over the visible cracks on the walls of their memories.