By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Director General of National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Abubakar Sulaiman has called for adoption of ‘guided democracy’ and deregistration of over 90 out of the 93 registered political parties (representing 83.7%) in Nigeria.
Sulaiman who gave the charge during the pre-Convocation briefing held in Abuja, also called for adoption of 3-Party System against the current multi-party system.
To address the effect the changes as proposed, the former Minister of National Planning urged Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to initiate necessary amendment for the consideration of the National Assembly.
He said: “Most of the political parties that we have, I stand to be corrected are Jankara political organisations and they are adding no value to democracy. I want to subscribe therefore that for us to have a well deepened political culture, the earlier we take recourse to 3 political parties the better.
“Some political parties today do not have offices at the various state levels but yet they occupy space on the ballot papers thereby causing confusion. When you talk about inconclusive elections, over-voting.
“Some Nigerians in the rural areas find it difficult to differentiate between symbols because we have a ballot paper that is unnecessarily lengthier than 1kilometre.
“So the earlier we have guided democracy with respect apologies to President Ibrahim Babangida the better for all of us. INEC should come out by initiating a bill for an amendment of the electoral act.
“I remember the late Gani Fawewemi advocated for this, he spoke for this. One of the things we observed in Nigeria is it is not only power that is being abused at times freedom is also abused. Our people take freedom for granted, they are abusing the freedom and if care is not taken in the next two or three years we would have 200 political parties.
“We submit as Sulaiman as an Institute we are going to look into it and conduct a study on it that the earlier we have limited number of political the better for us.
“On the issue of Bicamelism every society come up with.a system that fits in to its own political environment. Having Bicameral legislature to my mind is the result of the federal character of the Nigerian State. The more medium whereby people can debate issues, express their feelings the better for us.
“The issue is still ongoing as an institute we don’t want to be seen to be prejudicial. It is left for the leadership to take the lead, when it comes for us to make our input we shall do that.
“It is an ongoing debate at an appropriate time when our service is being required we shall offer,” Prof. Suleiman stressed.
On the forthcoming convocation of graduates scheduled for Monday, 28th October, 2019, Prof. Suleiman disclosed that total number of 271 students have so far enrolled for various programmes during the five academic sessions since inception.
According to him, a total of 79 students graduated from the 2015/16 and 2016/17; while 77 students enrolled in 2018/2019 alone.
While speaking on the mandates of Institute, Prof. Suleiman pledged the “We gave a commitment that we should not wait till election before Nigerians are being sensitized on their rights, responsibility, during election where other agencies have proved by not having a medium through which Nigerians are being educated on elections, democracy our institute is envisioning a situation whereby by next year we shall have a democracy radio through which we can reach out to Nigerian electorates and sensitized the people on the workings of the Legislature and mobilize Nigerians on democratic ethos.