Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law(IHRHL)
8 March 2012
EFFECTIVE POLITICAL OPPOSITION STRUCTURES INDISPENSABLE FOR A HEALTHY POLITICAL SYSTEM AND STABILITY IN THE
DELTA REGION. NIGER
The Executive Director of the
and Humanitarian Law(IHRHL), Mr. Anyakwee Nsirimovu , has called on opposition political parties in the Niger Delta Region states to buckle up, and begin to offer effective political agenda for sustainable development of the peoples of the region. Faced with evident rogue political leadership and governance since the transition of May 1999, they have a responsibility to build credible political structures, based on known committed fee paying membership through mass mobilization of citizens from the bottom of communities, towards the top echelon, in support of enabling and consolidating the spirit of democracy, rather than the apathy and sense of hopelessness which is most prevalent in its absence. The era of depending on destructive youth thuggery movements of different ethnic or nationality appellations that is anathema to the ideals and principles of quality liberal democracy must be closed forthwith. Institute of Human Rights
The IHRHL Executive Director, strongly admonishes that the era when individuals and groups use established political parties, to serve as fronts for the party in government, in outright deceit of unsuspecting citizens must come to an end. The era when young and old men of illicit monies, characters without integrity, freely use such resources to buy themselves political influence and leadership of registered parties, to serve their personal career interests, rather than the legitimate vision and mission of political parties in a democracy, must be shunned and resisted by practitioners. He also stated that the era where individuals who have no political pedigree, simply because their ego has been bruised by another political party, but now wish to use another political party not to fight for ideal political interest of electorates, but make nuisance of themselves and the outfit, should also be shown the front door.
Executive Director, Anyakwee Nsirimovu, maintained that some of those who have led political parties, financed it with stolen monies, and contested elections in recent times across the region, had no business allowing federal and state electoral bodies waste tax payer’s funds placing their faces on the ballots, because they had no iota of chance, of legitimately winning even a vote in their family environment, never mind their ward, simply because they had neither foundation, dept nor structure. Most of the political parties used for this deceptive electoral maneuvers have no known functional political party offices, either at the state, local nor ward levels. They appear during few weeks to elections and disappear immediately after, or gain cheap popularity through the media, while their matter at the Election Tribunal lasts. They were simply characters whose ego encouraged them to play on ludicrous sentiments, but hoped to make enough noise and threats about going to the Election Tribunal, but main object was to attract cash-in-ghana-must-go settlement. They are bloody time wasters - all of them, who fall under this category and must not be encouraged by those who take the spirit of democracy seriously.
The IHRHL Executive Director maintains that the unbending corruption infested regimes throughout the region, and the era of non-performance – growth for the few and extreme poverty for the majority in the midst of abundance, associated with same, is partly owed to blame on the absence of credible opposition parties. The fact that governors know without let, those who would obviously succeed them, lead to the kind of impunity, crony capitalism, wasteful and fruitless expenditures experienced across the region, because surely, tracks of irresponsible governance will be kept closed to public scrutiny.
IHRHL Executive Director insists that inspite of the financial disadvantages experienced by the opposition parties, parties have other more critical advantages - mobilization of membership, develop more transparent decision-making processes, particularly with respect to leadership and candidate selection, to prevent undue influence by vested interests or illicit wealthy benefactors require membership to pay fees to broaden party ownership and diminish the undue influence of party leadership; become more engaged in existing efforts of civil society organistions to tackle issues of corruption and impunithy, and work with civil society to raise public awareness of extreme poverty, environmental degradation and democracy without citizens and other roles that various actors play in private and public sector. These if properly and openly harnessed could over turn their misfortune, at least push them to the level of responsible and credible opposition, if not out rightly leading a government at any level, and deal with the all pervading current civilian autocracy.
Finally, the IHRHL Executive director, urged opposition political parties to urgently begin to play the historical political role of political parties in a democracy, beyond regular issuance of press statements, by consolidating their internal structures, where they exist, and aggregating citizen’s demands into coherent political programmes and translate such programmes into effective collective action. They should start the preparation for the next local and general political competition and framing of policy alternatives now, not a week, a month to such compettions.
Kelechi AguochaProgramme Officer (Research and Documentation)