Political parties should have public platforms for assessing elected officials, says Audu Ogbeh
Chairman of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Audu Ogbeh has stated that political parties in Nigeria should hold conferences where they debate the performance of elected officials.
Ogbeh while fielding questions from journalists on Thursday in Kaduna said he held such a conference when former President Olusegun Obasanjo was in power.
A party conference, he said, will give elected leaders the opportunity to give account for their stewardship.
He said political parties are not functioning, and unless they wake up and hold their members to account, Nigeria will not be well governed.
“Our political parties are not functioning. I was the only party chairman in Nigerian history who called a party conference once, where former President Olusegun Obasanjo came to address the party,” he said.
“We debated his speech and made comments about areas of weakness and strength.
“In the current APC manifesto, I included a clause that there must be a party conference once a year, where the party puts the president or governor on a chair and ask him to account for his governance.
A situation where parties just elect people and say nothing to them again till the next election, where we are all cringing and crawling for party positions and contracts, is not running a democracy.”
The former minister of agriculture said in advanced democracies like the UK and the US, party conferences are held regularly to assess the performance of elected office holders.
He said the parties in those democracies are accountable to the people.
He added that such conferences should also cover governors.
“We have no roads, no water, you’re not paying salaries. What is the problem? Tell us. Otherwise, don’t tell us next time to vote for you or to campaign for you,” he said.
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