A leading Pro-Democracy group, Kwara Must Change has called on the leadership of political parties in Nigeria, particularly in the grassroots, to build capacity of their members, create development agenda at local level, improve their technical capacity and utilize the party’s human resources to gather development data.
Kwara Must Change said that political parties should be more active after election than during election, noting that democratic governance can only succeed and produce the right results if political parties are actively involved in governance process and development.
In a statement by the Convener of Kwara Must Change, Abdulrazaq Hamzat, the group said that, leadership of each political party should prioritize capacity building of their members to act as development agent.
According to Hamzat, political parties should not be just about winning elections, it should not be just about political organization, it should also not be just about seeking financial gratification, but it should also be about development planning.
Hamzat explained that, government and its institutions can’t be as close to the people as the political parties. This is why political parties should be regarded as the most important developmental institution in democracy and be empowered to play such role.
“It is a fact that federal government has scanty presence in each state of the federation, state government with scanty presence at the local government areas in the state and local government with scanty presence across the wards”
“Political parties on the other hand doesn’t only have a larger than life presence across all states of the federation, it equally has similar presence in each local government areas, wards, zones and even polling units”
The wide spread of the political parties across the length and breadth of the federation has given them the needed advantage and opportunity to drive Nigeria’s development, using their coverage to obtain developmental data that can transform the country within the shortest possible time, Hamzat said.
He maintained that, the era of going to ward meetings to discuss politics endlessly after election is over, arguing that all meetings after election should be about development.
Reacting to the endemic rot in political parties in Nigeria, Hamzat said, all lovers of democracy must see it as a collective responsibility to confront the rot in party administration.
“We cannot run away from the most important democratic institution or abandon them just because their are rots in them. Running away from political parties would amount to giving up on our democracy, which we cannot do. We must participate in party activities and ensure the right reforms are done” he said.
Hamzat concluded that, using political parties for electoral victory alone is under utilizing the capacity of the parties, we need to do more.
We must reform the parties and build their capacity to serve more important role of development.