By SAMSON BAAJI, Abuja
Former vice president and the chieftain of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has stressed the importance of internal democracy in the democratic process in the country even as the national chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and national chairman of Accord Party, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Nalado has stated that IPAC is committed to the upholding of internal democracy among political parties in the country.
The chairman of the conference and former vice president Atiku Abubakar and the IPAC national chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Nalado both spoke at the Second IPAC Annual Conference Abuja, held in Abuja, yesterday, at theYar’Adua Centre with the theme, “Internal Party Democracy: A Recipe To A Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria”, where both leaders and other political actors brainstormed on how to reposition Nigeria’s democracy and make it all inclusive.
In his welcome address the IPAC chairman stressed the importance of dialogue in inter and intra parties dispute and called on party leaders and members of political parties to imbibe democratic culture in order to strengthen the country’s democracy. This is even as he frowned upon election violence which have so often blighted democratic development in the country.
Aside calling on political parties to maintain internal democracy the chairman of the umbrella body of Nigeria’s political parties also harped on national unity saying that “without unity we can achieve nothing”.
He also called on political parties to be gender sensitive by encouraging women into party leadership positions and urged parties to present them for elections as candidates. This is also as he harped on enlarging the political space to accommodate the youths and the physically challenged in the democratic process and policy decisions.
Highlights of conference was the award of Excellence in Governance bestowed on some state governors. The recipients of the awards include the governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar; governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu; and governor of Delta State, DrIfeanyi Okowa.