- There have been talks of how the leading political parties in Nigeria are stifling the smaller ones especially during elections
- Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council, says Nigerians need to support the smaller political parties
- According to Nzenwa, the bigger parties are dominant in the political space because they have access to state funds
FCT, Abuja - Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), says smaller political parties in the country are going through various challenges, hence, their inability to contend with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Nzenwa made the statement in an exclusive interview with Legit.ng on Thursday, August 26 at a town hall meeting hosted by Say No Campaign in Abuja.
Funding for smaller political parties
He said the newer political parties cannot compete with the bigger ones because they do not have access to the funds of the state.
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“The essence why these political parties are called the older or bigger parties is because they have access to the funds of the state. That's the difference. The newer political parties do not have access to the funds of the state. If they have such resources, there will be a knuckle fight on the political battlefield.
“And so, we are also looking at a situation where the younger political parties would be empowered. We need resources, resources both from the citizenry and the state to support the efforts of the smaller parties. When this is addressed, we will be able to do something in the polity.”
Speaking more on the domination by the two main political parties, Nzenwa said:
“Nigerians know the parties that are at the forefront of electoral misconduct. We know those who are deeply involved in it. We know those who such activities have become a sub-culture for them.
“We need to collectively work to address these issues, in terms of how older and newer political parties relate. Of course, on the table, we say the older political parties are responsible for what is happening.
“But, it's not just a blame game, but what do we do? Now, how are we engaging? So, we try as much as possible to educate, enlighten, inform, and also to persuade them that it is important that we play according to the rules, it is important we obey the laws of the country, it is important that we listen to INEC and all stakeholders.
“These are the things we keep on doing regularly, but, it is one thing to tell them, it's another thing to also obey these persuasions. So the point being made is that, at the end of the day, it is a collective responsibility on our part.”
ICPC wars against political corruption in the polity
Meanwhile, ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has declared that political corruption is punishable under the electoral act.
This was stated by the ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasonye, SAN who was represented by Mohammed Ashiru Baba; director, public enlightenment and education, ICPC at a town hall meeting recently in Abuja.
The theme of the event attended by a Legit.ng reporter, was Building Community Resilience Against Electoral Corruption to Promote Good Governance.
In a related development, the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, has berated the APC, over its management of Nigeria, saying that by 2023, the ruling party would have completely wrecked the country.
According to him, the next political party to take over the helms of leadership in 2023 would have the herculean task of fixing the country.
He said the country’s current challenge is not just as a result of banditry and kidnapping activities but leadership failure.