Prince Albert Ezechinyere, a political analyst, says adherence to internal democracy by political parties will help to produce the best leaders and grow the country’s democracy.
Ezechinyere, who is also the Coordinator General, West African Network of Election Observers (WANEO), spoke on Sunday in Abuja.
He listed ways internal democracy could be guaranteed in party politics.
According to him, members of political parties should, at all times, prioritise the interest of the nation in whatever decision they take.
WANEO coordinator, who stressed that politicians must imbibe the culture of obeying the rule of law, said putting the party’s interest above personal aggrandisement would also go a long way to ensuring internal democracy in running party’s affairs.
‘’When I was growing up, I was told that democracy is government of the people by the people and for the people.
‘’But even though the situation in Nigeria still wants me to change that concept, I still believe that those behind those political parties if they are sincere to think Nigeria first before their own personal interest, things will fall in place.
‘’They should consider the nation as a country that needs to grow. And if they are able to obey the rule of law and make sure that everything they are doing is for the party’s and the nation’s interests, by putting their own interest aside, I think this will go a long way,” he said.
He described internal democracy in political parties as the root of success of any democratic nation.
‘’Because when your house is in order, from the root, the foundation is strong, solid from the root, then it will definitely carry a bigger structure.
‘’If the internal democracy in any political party is strong and effective and everyone obeys the rule of law, it will definitely move to the larger society where everybody will fall into place because the foundation of those political parties are very strong. So it will influence the larger society.
Ezechinyere, however, said that where internal democracy was lacking in the system of political parties, it would not only inhibit democratic growth but it would lead to electing wrong people in position of power.
According to him, it will also increase the practice of godfatherism in the country’s democracy.
‘’It will bring about under development and will not allow our democracy to grow.
‘’Another challenge it brings is godfatherism, where you sponsor a candidate and as much as you are putting your money on such candidate, he must go by your own wish and not the general party’s wish.
‘’That is one major challenge that I think that people should look into as a nation.
“The implication of this is that we will not get the best leader, the best people in the position because of the undue influence of the political godfathers,” he said.