Intra-party Crises Caused By Govt Interference –Hon. Afighi

A former state secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Young Afighi, has decried the meddling of government officials in the affairs of their political parties.
Speaking with our correspondent in an interview at Oghara, Afighi noted that the development was one of the major causes of incessant intra-party crises in the polity.
The situation, according to him, has also placed ruling political parties under the control of government instead of the other way round.
He said; “What has been happening is that instead of the dog wagging the tail, the tail is wagging the dog.” “The president, state governors or appointed government officials are the ones in charge of the affairs of their political parties. They determine who emerges as the national or state chairman of their parties. They are completely in charge.’’
Afighi noted that the development had also resulted in weak leadership and lack of control by ruling political parties over the decisions and actions of their representatives in government.
He added that the situation had degenerated to a point where government officials pursued policies and programmes that are out of place with their parties’ manifestoes.
“What you have is a situation where government is now controlling the party, instead of the party controlling government”.
“Until we are able to arrive at the point where election of party officials is divorced from the influence of government, the party cannot stand and take control,’’ he said.
Afighi, who also served as the state PDP publicity secretary, said that the elevation of mediocrity in political party administration was responsible for the lack of ideology in Nigerian politics.
According to him, the leadership of many political parties in the country was dominated by neophytes or mediocres.
This, according to him, is why they lack a strong ideological base, anchored on the peculiar socio-cultural and economic challenges facing the country.
He said; “What has been happening in this country is that just anybody can occupy a party position, and these people are not schooled in party formation, organisation and functions.
“So, that is why when they take these positions, they don’t know what to do; they cannot say `Let us formulate a political ideology for this our party’.
He, therefore, called on political parties to elect capable hands to run their affairs in the overall interest of the nation’s democracy.
Afighi also urged parties to develop a good political culture in the country by embarking on aggressive education; stating, “It is only when people who are schooled in both political theory and practice are made to participate in the game of politics, especially at the grassroots level on party ideology, that we can achieve a success story in democracy”.