YAKUBU Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has specifically noted that the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) alongside the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are parading fake Manifestos.
Dogara stated this while descending heavily on political parties in the country, describing them as weak, unstable and lacking functional party apparatus.
Speaking at a two-day retreat on the dynamics of managing political parties professionally organised by the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), Kuru, Jos, Plateau State, on Monday, the speaker said the parties suffered from low organisational capacity and internal democracy.
He was represented by the House Minority Whip, Yakubu Barde.
“For political parties to effectively play the central role in a democratic representation, they must be managed and operated in such a manner as to establish trust among the electorate.
“In Africa and Nigeria in particular, political parties are weak, lacking not only a stable and functioning party apparatus, but also a clear programmatic appeal. They also suffer from low organizational capacity and a lack of internal democracy.
“Such weak political parties cannot support democracy as parties are expected to serve many important functions, including citizen mobilisation, interest aggregation, public policy formulation, leadership recruitment and government organisation.
“At the level of individual party capacity, a number of challenges also stood out.
“These include lack of an inclusive and research based policy and manifesto development process that provides a clear policy framework for them to govern, lack of ideological or institutional identities, and limited competence in research and analysis that looks at their own performance and supports clear plans and strategies for building the party.
“It is worthy to mention that in an attempt to either capture or hold on to power, some political parties have sometimes embellished their manifestos with unrealistic promises.
“It is a political malpractice for an elected government to govern without reference to the manifesto that was placed before the voters which essentially formed the basis of their election. Political parties must ensure that they relate their manifestos to a strategic framework which carry the development vision of the entire nation,” the speaker said.
Making his speech at the event, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, advocated for inclusiveness in the management of political parties in the country alongside bringing on board vulnerable groups in political management in the interest of the nation’s democracy.
He was represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdullahi Sani.
“It is important that we work to actively bring in more vulnerable and under-represented groups to actively participate in the political system.
“The youth, women and people living with disability are groups who must be actively engaged and effectively mentored for leadership in both the local, state and federal levels.
“We must break down all barriers that limit participation and whole heartedly embrace new entrants into the political space.
“That is why the National Assembly passed the not too young to run and independent candidacy clauses during our constitution review exercise.
“We must realize that the more people we have participating in our politics, the wider the field and the better and more refined the candidates,” he said.
Acting Director General of NIPSS, Jonathan Juma, said the retreat was organised to enhance the competitiveness and effectiveness of players in a multi-party political dispensation.