The Director-General and CEO of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Prof. Habu Galadima, has stressed the need for political parties to have clear-cut ideologies that would help them deliver the dividends of democracy.
Prof. Galadima spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the roundtable discussion tagged ‘Political Parties, Party Ideologies and National Interest’, organised by the Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre (PPLPDC) of the NIPSS.
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Galadima said without a strong foundation and clear-cut ideologies, it would be difficult for the political system to operate effectively.
“NIPPS has been interested in strengthening political parties so that they can deliver effectively on democracy. Without parties with strong foundation, it’ll be difficult for the political system to operate effectively.
“we felt that political parties should have clear cut ideologies and that their ideologies should reflect the aspirations of the political parties. This should also have alternative policies, which when elected, they’ll be able to implement.
“It is not possible for all the political parties to be the same, it is important that political party leaders can be identified with particular ideologies, particular positions on National issues and so on,” he said.
He decried the inability of some political parties to know where to draw the line between criticism and issues of national interest.
Galadima said, “The polity of discussion in the political terrain at the moment is not very healthy. People should know what is national interest, when a country is facing security challenges, what do we do? Today, we find political parties making comments that are demoralizing.
“in every country, political parties rally round when it comes to issues of national interest, that doesn’t stop them from providing alternative views about national issues.
“It is important that we recognize that and ensure that political parties focus more on their ideologies to help their colleagues to also align with their ideologies rather than humping from one political party to the other.”
On his part, the Project Coordinator of European Union Centre for Electoral Support (EUCES), Hamza Fassi-Fihri, stressed the importance and roles of political parties in the society.
“Political parties play a key role in democracy because they are the ones who intermediate between the populace and the government. For the population to make their choice, they have to be informed and choose on grounds that are known to everybody.
“These grounds are ideologies, it is important for political parties to distinguish themselves on the basis of ideas of visional society. This is what ideology is all about,” he said.