By Lawrence Olaoye
All the Nigeria political parties in the country, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC) and others, have endorsed June 12, 2014 for a stakeholders summit to address salient issues in the nation political system.
The summit, which is jointly convened by the office of the National Security Adviser to the President and the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Party Affairs, will highlight the negative consequences of the politics of bitterness, rancour, mud-slinging and unnecessary bellicosity to the political, economic and social well-being of the nation.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday on the preparations for the summit to be chaired by the former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, the Special Adviser to President on inter-party Affairs, Sen. Ben Obi, said that the summit will help to consolidate the nation’s democracy.
He said “The summit will help to determine and strengthen the institutions and other basis of collaboration among Nigerian political parties and politicians, reinforce the key ingredients in the code of conduct of political behaviour and re-commit Nigerian political parties to its salient norms.
“In addition, it will help to emphasise the role of political parties in enabling the condition for social stability, national security and democratic consolidation. The summit intends to mainstream the idea that Nigerian political parties are key national patriotic stakeholders, either in government or in opposition, who are genuinely committed to the success of the Nigerian project, and serve as a platform for wide deliberation on an action plan that will lead to free, fair, transparent and violence-free general elections in 2015.”
He highlighted Boko Haram as one of the forces working against the nation’s unbroken democracy, adding, “if the collaboration between existing political parties is sufficiently reinforced, the national political climate will wear a positive outlook; social stability will be guaranteed, national security will be deepened and democratic consolidation will be effectuated.
“However, the current national political outlook with regard to inter-party collaboration is less than salutary. Indeed, the conduct, behaviour and utterances of leading politician, at home and abroad, are rapidly spreading unnecessary tension in the country, stoking the embers of discord, bitterness and rancour, and obviously playing into the hands of extremist elements that are waging a vicious terror war against the Nigerian state.
“If these enemies perceive the political class to be in disarray, it will further embolden them in the crimes they are daily committing against the Nigerian people.
“It is thus in recognition of the great historic challenge facing Nigeria’s political parties and the need to close ranks to safeguard the nation’s democratic infrastructure even as they pursue their separate governance vision and compete for power in a healthy, decent and civilised manner, that this summit is being put together.”