A Coalition made up of eighteen political parties recently deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is seeking to dismantle the existing political patronage system.
The group is also seeking to replace it with a merit-based system to enable every Nigerian access power ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The new drive was made known on Saturday in a communique signed by the Chairman of the Coalition, Mallam Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, who also advised the deregistered political parties to come together and work out strategies to move Nigeria in the right direction as the nation’s political trajectory in the last twenty years is not likely to take it to the desired destination.
The Coalition which advised the deregistered political parties not to put too much effort in litigation as the legal process is long, tortuous, and expensive, stated that there must be a concerted effort to free the nation from the bondage of corruption and bad governance at all levels.
The statement by the Coalition reads in part, “Our Coalition has been very active in supporting the current administration at the electoral level and in its fight against insecurity, corruption and the restoration of economic growth, but we see the deregistration of some of our members as an opportunity to rethink our strategy and reposition our collective assets towards the search for a better Nigeria beyond the pursuit of public office and the current administration.
”Politics is not just about power. It is, more importantly, about public service, empowering citizens in all facets of their lives and putting the interest of the nation above all personal, group and political considerations. Our support for President Muhammadu Buhari remains solid but we are thinking ahead and beyond the current dispensation towards a Nigeria that works for all Nigerians regardless of their position in life, political affiliations and geographical location. We want to dismantle the existing patronage system, which is created over the last twenty years and replace it with a merit-based system to enable every Nigerian access power, economic opportunity and social amenities regardless of any other consideration.”
“As a Coalition, we see ourselves as multi-partisan. We take the opinion of each and every member of the Coalition into consideration before arriving at a decision. At our meeting, we agreed to endeavor to embark on a struggle for a better Nigeria and change the thinking of citizens from considering politics as a vehicle for self-fulfillment to one of collective fulfillment. No Nigerian should fulfill his or her aspirations at the expense of the aspirations of the rest of Nigerians. It is this attitude of the self above the nation that has brought us to this state of helplessness. We cannot get out of it without changing our foundational ideas about politics and service.”
Political party personnel present at the meeting included members of Progressive Political Parties include, AAP, Accord, ACPN, APA, APM, FJP, Fresh, KOWA, NDLP, NNPP, PDM, SNP, UPN, UPP and YES.
The move comes days after the Federal High Court In Abuja, stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering 31 political parties.
The order, handed down by Justice Anwuli Chikere, noted that the political parties had a legal right which must be protected, since the electoral body did not oppose their application.