A former senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Magnus Abe, has called for the sustenance of internal democracy in political parties in Nigeria.
Abe made the call while speaking during a symposium organised by the Rivers APC Visionary Media Team at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre, Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.
The symposium tagged: “The implications of internal democracy to the development of democracy in Nigeria” was attended by chieftains of the APC in Rivers state, including the former senator representing Rivers-West, Wilson Ake.
Senator Abe reminded members of the party that supremacy of the party does not mean the supremacy of individuals in the party, but the supremacy of the rules guiding the party.
He described internal democracy as the actual foundation of democracy, pointing out that without internal democracy, political parties would become tools of oppression in the hands of leaders.
“We need to appreciate those that proposed that the party is supreme. A lot of people do not understand what the supremacy of the party means. The way we understand the supremacy of the party in Nigeria is not the same way the people who proposed it understood it.
“It is the supremacy of the rules of the party and not the supremacy of the organs of the party or that of anybody outside the rules. The national working committee of the party has become the supreme military council,” he lamented.
Earlier, the Director-General of Rivers APC Visionary Media Team, Robertson Jack said: “The need to organize this program was necessitated by the increasing level of lack of internal democracy in our political parties and its alarming effect on the state and nation.
“Our political situation is so bad that both the major and minor political parties have failed to allow party members to exercise their rights to choose who represents them at the general election.
“While political godfathers decide who gets what in the two major political parties, the small parties have turned themselves into sellers of tickets to political heavyweights who are not favoured by the so-called godfathers and are looking for where to purchase a ticket.”