By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja, July 6, 2022
A civil society organisation, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), has condemned the outrageous alleged expenses and monetisation that characterized the recently held party primaries across the country.
The Executive Director of CHRCR, Idris Miliki, made the condemnation in on Wednesday in Lokoja, in a communiqué issued after the stakeholders’ meeting of ”Post Primaries Engaging Political Parties on Priotising Anti-Corruption and Accountability Issues Towards 2023 Elections at the State level”.
The meeting which had in attendance all INEC recognised Political parties and Media Practitioners, also enjoined political parties to mainstream Anti-Corruption into their manifestos and campaign messages.
Miliki condemned the outrageous alleged expenses and monetisation of the party primaries, and the buying and selling of votes by political parties, which had led to the highest bidder emerging as Candidates across board
He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on its enlightenment and stakeholders mobilization on its activities at State level to encourage citizens confidence and participation.
He called on political parties to increase Voters’ Education especially before elections to ensure adequate awareness creation on the electoral process.
He also advised the Media to increase their reportage and investigation on Corruption and Accountability issues in government and non-governmental entities.
The CHRCR executive director further called for more proactive measures by anti-corruption agencies in timely investigation and prosecution of political and election offenders.
He enjoined the relevant institutions to hasten the process of establishing Electoral Offences Commission to punish electoral offenders.
”Political parties must endeavor to practice improved internal democracy especially during the conduct of their primaries, conventions and all other elections.
”There must be strategically designed, issue-based primaries to elect Candidates in political parties to reduce the influence of money politics that lead to corruption.
”Genuine effort must be put in place to reduce the high level of poverty in the society to discourage people from embarking on corruptive tendencies particularly on elections,” he said.
Miliki urged all eligible citizens to participate in the electoral process by registering and obtaining their Permanent Voters’ Cards especially during the ongoing registration process by INEC before the 2023 elections.
The meeting was organised by CHRCR in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), supported by MacArthur Foundation.
Miliki emphasised that the goal of CHRCR was to institutionalize Anti-corruption, Transparency and Accountability in Nigeria by ensuring necessary political commitment.
The state’s Chairmen and Representatives of various political parties recognized by INEC were present at the meeting except that of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
They include: IPAC Chairman, Mr Ukwenya Musa of Action Alliance (AA); Nicholas Okpanachi of Accord Party; Ibrahim Usman of Allied Peoples Movement (APM); and Ibrahim Itodo of Action Democratic Party (ADP).
Other were: Lawal Abubakar of African Action Congress (AAC); Muhammed Omonaiyi of APGA; Mohammed Abdullahi of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); Mr Frank Onaji of Action Peoples Party (APP); and Onoja Umar of People Redemption Party (PRP)
Other include: Moses Peter of Social Democratic Party (SDP); Hajia Fatimoh Suleiman of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP); Mr Ademu Iyeh of Action Democratic Congress (ADC); and Mohammed Dangana of National Rescue Movement (NRM).