A Chieftain of the New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP), Comrade Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) over its recent condemnation of few people claiming to own a political party purely because they are foundation members.
Ajadi in a release signed on Wednesday said political parties are owned by members, noting that there is no single owner of a political party, saying in a political party, all members are equal, saying mostly there are no founders and no joiners.
It could be recalled that last Friday, INEC kicked against the registration of weak political parties in the country.
The INEC Acting Director, Department of Election and Party Monitoring, Hajiya Hauwa Habib, who made the call while speaking during a programme themed ‘Validation Session: Needs assessment of political parties in Nigeria’ organised by The Kukah Centre and funded by the Europe union said to register a political party, the proponents must have a membership of 24 people from 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to Habib, “The chairman, secretary, and treasurer continue to dominate everything about the political party. In their constitutions, they assign duties and schedules to every executive member. The Financial Secretary, Welfare Secretary, and Publicity Secretary are not allowed to perform their duties once the party is registered.
“In the long run when it is a year or two towards election, you find the secretary and the chairman struggling on who owns the party. Thereabout, you find factionalisation, they give us problems during elections, rush to the courts, and the courts are not helping matters.
“They think that membership of a political party in Nigeria is a joke. It is through the political parties that governance and government are given to citizens. How do you think a political party with 24 people running the party can perform without a presence at the local level during elections?
Speaking on the issue, Ajadi who was the NNPP’s Governorship Candidate in the 2023 Governorship Election in Ogun State said INEC has hit the nail on the head by saying that few people cannot run a party and that a party cannot function without people at the grassroots.
According to Ajadi, “This should be an eye opener to those who are claiming to be the owner of our party, the NNPP. INEC has spoken and spoken genuinely that some briefcase politicians claimed to be the owner of parties but that political parties are owned by the people.
“Those who are claiming the right of ownership in our party should know the end has come to their Shenanigans. Parties are owned by the people and not individuals.
“A political party is not a sole Proprietorship or a partnership business. It is owned by all members irrespective of when they enter the parties. Parties are vehicles for elections and elections are won through the people”.
Lagos Post Online